In August 2006 an Ohio state law was passed that required all hospitals within the state to report data on performance measures by April 2007 to a state Web site and to report average charges for their top 60 outpatient procedures by May 2007. Hospitals previously were required to report average charges and volumes for their top 100 inpatient procedures — information that is now also available on the Web site. The state health director selected a new set of performance measures developed or endorsed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) or the National Quality Forum (NQF). In addition, hospitals are now required to post on their Web sites a price list with charges for room, board and other items.
The Ohio Department of Health’s Web site shows how many patients were admitted for a procedure in a given year, how long they stayed, some severe cases and varying charges. There are at least 100 procedures consumers can choose from, including childbirth, kidney procedures and asthma treatment. More data, including infection and mortality rates, will be added this summer.