The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has launched a new website called CostAware to help Delawareans understand how their health care dollars are spent by comparing the variation of average costs for different episodes of care and medical services based on actual medical claims in Delaware.
Hospital costs are compared for five common episodes of care at six hospital systems: cardiac procedures, C-section birth, emergency department visits, knee and hip replacement, and vaginal delivery. The costs across five accountable care organizations (ACOs) are also compared for seven common services: blood count, colonoscopy, doctor visits, hemoglobin A1c, head CT, lumbar spine MRI and screening mammography. The rates are based on 2019 medical claims in the Delaware Health Care Claims Database and reflect the cost that consumers and their insurers actually paid for the care.
In addition, quality measures are provided, including the readmission and utilization rates, and patient satisfaction scores, all from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of its Hospital Compare and Medicare Shared Savings Program initiatives. Each episode of care and service can be filtered further by the type of insurance: commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid.
In this initial version of CostAware, the Delaware hospital systems and accountable care organizations are not identified, but there are hopes to include that information in future versions of the website. The site also breaks down the average monthly cost of care for each member of an accountable care organization and the top procedures for several age and gender groups based on overall volume and dollar volume.