Minnesota launches site allowing health cost, quality comparisons

The state of Minnesota has launched a website offering a mix of quality and cost information on state providers in an effort to help consumers shop for care. The launch of the site follows several other initiatives intended to expose more useful health data to citizens of the state, according to Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

The site (www.mnhealthscores.org) includes the average price health plans pay to each group for the 100 most common health services. The data comes from the nonprofit Minnesota Community Measurement initiative, which began collecting such data in 2004.
Minnesota Community Measurement expects to keep the data updated, and provider price changes will be tracked over time.

The initiative is one of several in the state focused on improved access to healthcare data, including a bill signed last year that increases access to healthcare price and quality information, and creates a statewide healthcare improvement program. The state also offers a comprehensive report card rating nursing homes on quality of care offered and patient satisfaction levels. Another recent initiative requires the reporting of certain adverse events by hospitals.

To learn more about this project:
- read this press release