Special Reports

February 24, 2012

Helpful health websites

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes information available to help consumers compare doctors, hospitals and cost of procedures.


These web sites allow consumers to compare how satisfied patients were with their hospital stay and compare the mortality and complication rates for various illnesses and surgeries. Most use federal Medicare claim data for at least part of the rankings.

www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov - Operated by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, this government web site has the most comprehensive data, including costs of surgeries

www.healthgrades.com - This Colorado for-profit company ranks a hospital’s ability to care for patients in 23 areas, such as heart attack, stroke and pulmonary disease.

www.whynotthebest.org - Operated by the Commonwealth Fund, this website makes it easy to compare hospital data over time.

http://health.usnews.com Click on “best hospitals.” U.S. News and World reports ranks hospitals by speciality. It also rates patient survival, the level of nursing staff, level of technology and specialists’ opinions.

www.leapfroggroup.org - This group, founded by the Business Roundtable, rates hospitals on efforts to prevent medical errors. The website includes the rate of ICU infections and in-hospital injuries such as falls. Information comes from surveys submitted voluntarily by hospitals.


www.healthgrades.com – This for-profit company lists doctors by specialties and patient ratings.

www.mssconline.org – The Medical Society of Sedgwick County offers a physician finder on its site, listing a doctor’s education and credentials.

www.docboard.org/ks/ – The Kansas Board of Healing Arts offers searches for professionals by speciality.

http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ – Find out if your doctor is receiving money from pharmaceutical companies at Propublica’s Dollars for Docs project.

Health insurance plans

www.ncqa.org - The National Committee for Quality Assurance rankings of 390 private, Medicare and Medicaid health insurance plans based on customer satisfaction and clinical performance

Organ transplants

www.srtr.org Find data on all U.S. transplant centers, including survival rates and characteristics of patients who receive transplants

Clinical trials

www.clinicaltrials.gov - This government website lists clinical trials in the United States.

Nursing homes

http://medicare.gov/nhcompare/ - This government web site allows you to compare nursing homes by the number of violations and patient care.

www.cms.gov. Search for “special focus facility” at this government site for a list of nursing homes that have had repeated serious violations over a long period of time.

State licenses

The state of Kansas licenses pharmacists, dentists, doctors, optometrists and nurses..

Kansas State Board of Nursing - www.ksbn.org. The discipline case list contains actions taken against nurses.

Kansas Dental Board - www.kansas.gov/kdb/. Board disciplinary actions are listed on the site.

Kansas State Board of Pharmacy - www.kansas.gov/pharmacy/ to verify a license.

Kansas Board of Examiners In Optometry - www.kssbeo.com. Verify a license or find out about disciplinary action.

Kansas Board of Healing Arts - www.ksbha.org. Verify licenses or find out about disciplinary actions against doctors.

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