Consumer Reports goes into the hospital ratings business

Most consumers reach for Consumer Reports when they're thinking about buying a car or a dishwasher. But soon, they'll be able to use CR to rate their local hospital.

The venerable consumer publication has set plans to provide patient satisfaction ratings for more than 3,400 U.S. hospitals, using data from the government's Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center will display its hospital ratings online using the familiar Consumer Reports color-coded interface.

The data, which will be available to subscribers to, integrates intensity of care rankings, linking patient satisfaction and intensity of care. Researchers with the Health Ratings Center have found that hospitals that have above-average patient satisfaction ratings typically provide more conservative, less costly care.

Users will be able to look up their local hospital's Overall Patient Experience Rating, plus ratings for eight performance measures, including doctor communication, nurse communication, discharge information, staff attentiveness, pain control and quietness.

To learn more about the ratings:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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