WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HealthcareCompassMA.org, a new consumer-friendly website, was launched today to help patients in Massachusetts find the best primary care for themselves and their families. HealthcareCompassMA.org was designed with input from consumers to make it easy to search and compare primary care doctors’ offices based on how well doctors provide certain aspects of care, services, tests, and treatments.
“Primary care providers serve a critical role in our healthcare system,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Empowering people with information about providers will help them make important healthcare decisions. Better information moves the Massachusetts healthcare system toward greater transparency and makes it more consumer-friendly.”
Developed by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), an independent nonprofit healthcare coalition, HealthcareCompassMA.org enables patients to search and compare over 400 primary care doctors’ offices across the state. The site uses two types of ratings to compare primary care quality and performance:
- Patient experience survey results from more than 64,000 patients show how well their primary care doctors’ offices provide care. These ratings include aspects of care that are best reported by patients themselves, including how well doctors communicate with patients, coordinate patients’ care and give preventive care and advice.
- Clinical quality ratings show how well primary care doctors provide their patients preventive care services such as cancer screenings and well child visits, and how well they manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma.
“It is important to have access to information that compares the quality of primary care doctors’ offices because the quality of care you receive can vary depending on where you go for care,”said Barbra Rabson, president and CEO of MHQP. “And the quality information MHQP produces has the support of primary care physicians in Massachusetts.”
The website also has tips and tools to help patients and consumers identify ways to work more closely with their primary care doctor to ensure that they are getting the most out of their office visits.
“The tools on this website help patients prepare to talk with their doctors about health issues that matter to them. These conversations can help patients understand more about their health and improve communication and collaboration with their provider. The reports on the website are the same reports that help primary care physicians and their teams improve the quality of care they provide,” said Mike Cantor, MD, JD, chief medical officer at New England Quality Care Alliance, the physician network affiliated with Tufts Medical Center.
MHQP has been publicly reporting this information online since 2005 and has a proven track record of providing sound, statistical ratings based on national standards for primary care. In 2012, MHQP partnered with Consumer Reports to publish its patient experience survey results in a special Massachusetts insert rating of primary care physician practices in Massachusetts.
Barbara Anthony, undersecretary for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, has been monitoring healthcare transparency activities to meet consumer needs. She sees the accessibility to information from many sources as a good thing.
“Patients and families in Massachusetts want and need many types of information to help them make wise healthcare decisions,” says Anthony. “The quality ratings on HealthcareCompassMA.org are presented in a way that makes it easy for people use.”
The launch of HealthcareCompassMA.org connects to MHQP’s work as an alliance of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality program, a national initiative in targeted communities across the country to improve the quality of health and health care through performance measurement and public reporting, among other efforts.
Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) is a non-profit, broad-based coalition established in 1995 that provides reliable information to help physicians improve the quality of care they provide their patients and help consumers take an active role in making informed decisions about their health care. MHQP’s mission is to drive measureable improvements in health care quality, patients’ experiences of care, and use of resources in Massachusetts through patient and public engagement and broad-based collaboration among health care stakeholders, including physicians, hospitals, health plans, purchasers, patient and public advocates, government agencies, and academics.