The print version of the Courier Journal had an interesting story beneficial to consumers that offers information on the quality of hospital medical care and price information on various medical procedures. Thus, you can compare before being admitted. Although this will be beneficicial to those with a choice among hospitals, it will be of little use to those in hard hit rural areas. Links to federal information on health care are also listed.
The data will be useful in areas other than obtaining care, but will be useful to lawyers, claimants, and insurance adjusters in estimating the cost of future medical procedures that are reasonably foreseeable and thus providing some reasonableness in value.
Here is the intro page to the site:
Welcome to the Commonwealth of Kentucky's Health Care Information Center. Health care is very individualized to patient needs and patient care. As consumers, it is important that we all have access to reliable information about health care costs and quality to assist in making the best, most informed decisions.
The center provides both performance and outcome information on hospitals in Kentucky, as well as information about quality of care. Additionally, we will provide measurements of how well preventive care efforts are working to reduce the number of inpatient stays in Kentucky hospitals.
Here is the information on median costs among all Kentucky hospitals and median costs within a particular hospital based upon DRG codes:
Hospital Charge Information
The Kentucky Hospital Association provides hospital charge information by the top Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs). DRG is a classification of hospitalization types based on the patient’s medical condition, procedures performed (if any), and, in some cases, the age and/or sex of the patient. Other information includes average length of stay, median age of patient and number of discharges by DRG.
For example, I did a search for a spine fusion. Several DRG codes popped up, so I simply selection 519 Cervical Spine Fusion and a severity scale of "0-minor".