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Health, Science and Environment

New website compares hospital care across Michigan

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Stewart Black
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https://flic.kr/p/6qv9UN

A new website launched Tuesday that allows consumers and patients to access information about the healthcare provided at hospitals across Michigan.

The website, created by the Michigan Hospital Association, compiles data from hospitals and allows users to compare things like mortality, early elective deliveries, or c-section rates at a given hospital.

Sam Watson is with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. He said VerifyMICare is the first website of its kind for Michiganders.

“The data are presented in a very straightforward ‘as expected or less than expected, worse than expected’ format so it’s clear and crisp for the user. It’s a starting point. It’s not meant to be a complete information about a hospital but something to begin a conversation with your physician.”

Watson said Michiganders need a tool for exploring care options.

“We think it’s important for consumers to have a tool to ask questions and allow them to be informed when they are looking at where they go for their care. We aren’t making a judgement about the quality of one hospital over another, but rather a starting point for a conversation.”

Watson said the website will update data every six months.

“What we ask the hospitals to do is review their data to make sure it’s correct as we want to make sure any data we put out there is the absolute best for consumers to use.”

Watson said the data are provided voluntarily by hospitals who are part of the association.

He said the association hopes to expand the site in the near future to include pricing information about each hospital.