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New Website Helps Maryland Residents Compare Hospital Cost, Quality

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Maryland Health Care Commission has launched a new Website – – which allows residents to look up the cost and quality of certain procedures at the state’s hospitals to promote consumerism and transparency.  The Wear the Cost initiative aims to shed light on understanding why cost and quality may differ among hospitals, and is seen as the first step in controlling high health care costs.

The website displays a patient’s average cost for common hospital procedures at different Maryland hospitals. All of a patient’s health care services– such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and pharmacy prescriptions – are grouped into “episodes” of care to give a more complete picture of the total cost. An episode of care is the combination of all health care services related to a specific treatment or procedure from beginning to end. For each procedure, the average total cost for an episode of care at different Maryland hospitals is listed, allowing for the comparison of costs from one hospital to the next. Two kinds of costs are displayed: the typical and expected costs for the procedure; and second, the costs that may be due to events that could harm patients and that could be avoided – also known as potentially avoidable complications (PACs). Hospitals that have low total costs and low rates of potentially avoidable complications may offer the best value for patients.

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