Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


Kentucky's Health Care Information Center

The Health Care Information Center Web site was launched in March 2007 to provide hospital-specific information about the quality and costs of care in Kentucky. A joint effort by the Office of Health Policy and the Kentucky Hospital Association, the interactive site is intended to help consumers and other health care purchasers make the best, most informed decisions in choosing hospitals. It allows users to compare measures such as inpatient mortality, volume of procedures, hospital charges, and other indicators for specific medical conditions and surgical procedures at different hospitals.

Specifically, the site uses inpatient quality indicators (developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) to summarize the frequency and risk-adjusted outcomes of certain procedures. The site also presents hospital charges by top Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGs), along with median length of stay and patient age. Further, it offers links to the CMS "Hospital Compare" Web site, which illustrates the frequency with which hospitals provide recommended care.

The quality indicators are derived from standardized billing data submitted by Kentucky hospitals. Since 1998, hospitals have been required to submit de-identified inpatient administrative data for the purpose of health care quality reporting. Many hospitals also use this data to manage their own quality improvement initiatives.

For example, data linked to the site illustrate the range in median charges for coronary bypass care, from about $35,000 to $99,000 in 2005. Interestingly, the hospital with the highest median charges also had the fewest number of discharges for this service (24), and the hospital with the lowest median charges had nearly the largest number of discharges (54). This suggests that consumers and purchasers do not necessarily have to pay more for a high-volume provider.

IMPORTED: www_commonwealthfund_org__usr_img_Kentucky_Map2.gif

According to Melissa Adkisson, division director of Kentucky's Office of Health Policy, "Consumers have a right to know what a facility's expected outcome is for a procedure, and if it is poor, have an opportunity to discuss this fact with their provider or chose to go to another facility altogether. It is our hope that information from our Web site will encourage low-performing hospitals to focus on quality improvement, while drawing well-deserved attention to those hospitals that are performing above average."

The site is still in its infancy, with more quality indicators and other relevant health information to be added in the coming weeks and months. For example, in early June, a series of maps illustrating rates of prevention quality indicators by county will be added (see figure). Adkisson believes that public demand for this type of information will continue to grow as consumers become more conscious of health care costs and quality. While the state does not have a formal publicity plan, they intend to market the site through promotional materials and links to other relevant sites. The site has been awarded a Best of Kentucky Technology Award for Best Application Serving the Public.

For More Information
Contact: Melissa Adkisson, Division Director, Office of Health Policy, [email protected]

Publication Details