CMS Launches Revamped Medicare Compare Website
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched Care Compare, a streamlined redesign of eight existing CMS health care compare tools available on Medicare.gov – including Nursing Home Compare. Care Compare provides a single interface that patients and caregivers can use to make informed decisions about health care based on cost, quality of care, the volume of services, and other data. Patients can find information that is easy to understand about doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care services instead of searching through multiple tools.
For more than 20 years, Medicare’s online compare tools have served as the cornerstone for publicizing quality care information for patients, caregivers, consumers, and the health care community. CMS’ announcement builds on the eMedicare initiative that was first launched by CMS in 2018 to deliver simple tools and information to current and future Medicare beneficiaries. Drawing on lessons learned through research and stakeholder feedback, Care Compare includes features and functionalities that appeal to consumers.
The nursing home portion of the website provides a “nursing home checklist” of items patients/residents and their families should ask when searching for a facility. The Society advocated for more information included about the facility’s clinical leadership, including the role and training of the facility medical director – such as whether the medical director is certified and the number of hours they spend with the facility. However, on a preliminary review, this information currently does not appear on the website. The Society will continue to advocate with CMS that information about the medical director is vital to the selection of the nursing facility.
Other new tools launched under the eMedicare initiative include:
- A completely redesigned Medicare Plan Finder Tool for last Open Enrollment;
- “What’s Covered” app that tells people what’s covered and what’s not in Original Medicare;
- A price transparency tool that lets consumers compare Medicare payments and copayments for certain procedures performed in both hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers;
- Interactive online decision support to help people better understand and evaluate their Medicare coverage options and costs between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage;
- An online service that lets people quickly see how different coverage choices will affect their estimated out-of-pocket costs
- Webchat option in Medicare Plan Finder helps people get on-the-spot support; and
- Easy-to-use surveys across Medicare.gov so patients and consumers can continue to offer feedback about their online experiences.