CMS launches new Care Compare site that combines provider comparison tools into one place

The Trump administration has folded eight of its existing healthcare comparison tools into a single website with the intention, they said, of becoming more user friendly.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the updated Care Compare site Thursday. The site combines the previously existing sites that allow consumers to comparison shop based on the quality metrics for hospitals, nursing homes, home health providers, dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, physicians and hospice.

“Today someone who is planning to have bypass surgery would need to use hospital compare, nursing home compare and home health compare to research providers,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma on a call with reporters before the site launched. “The differing presentation and navigation on each site can make the process even more challenging.”

Verma said the existing compare websites will remain live for now as patients transition to the new site.

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The site also includes hints for helping patients find certain services or providers that they need.

“For example, when searching for a nursing home, patients have the ability to utilize a checklist with common questions and considerations when selecting a nursing home,” the agency said in a release. “While the measures and data used for Care Compare have not changed, the way information is displayed is now different.”

CMS also announced several improvements to the Procedure Price Lookup tool, including adding physician fees in addition to administration fees intended to give patients a better idea of their out-of-pocket costs.

The Provider Data Catalog also creates an improved application programming interface to hopefully enable researchers to analyze agency data more easily, CMS said.

This new site is the latest move by CMS to overhaul the comparison tools used by patients.

CMS rolled out a new and redesigned Medicare plan finder tool during the last Medicare open enrollment. It also released an app called “What’s Covered” intended to help patients determine what is and is not covered by traditional Medicare.

The announcement come about a month after the Trump administration released a long-awaited proposal to change how their star ratings posted on the Hospital Compare website are calculated, saying they aim to make the new methodology simpler and address concerns held by the industry about the scoring.