We believe transparency is sorely needed within the healthcare field, and having readily available information is an important step in that process.
Scottsdale, Arizona (PRWEB) May 16, 2013
Launched earlier this week, HospitalOwl.com, created by Terabyte Media and located at http://www.hospitalowl.com, provides a rare look into the world of medical billing. The web site uses statistics provided last week by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Health and Human Services Department. The file consists of over 160,000 rows of data displaying the amount hospitals charged and the associated amount reimbursed by Medicare for 100 of the most common inpatient treatment services in 2011. The associated discrepancy was quite vast in most cases allowing the conclusion to be drawn that hospitals charge far more for services than Medicare actually believes the cost should be.
HospitalOwl.com processed the data file and created a web site that allows visitors to make use of the information in a much easier, more thorough and interactive format. The web site also allows for reports to be run by state and service, as well as allowing users to compare hospitals side-by-side, and even to view how specific hospitals stack up versus other hospitals in their state and across the country.
"We applaud CMS and HHS for releasing such a large volume of data," said Michael Goldfarb, co-creator of HospitalOwl.com. "It was our goal to take the next step and provide the data in a format that people could make use of to help understand medical billing a bit more easily, and also to see how hospitals nearby compared."
HospitalOwl.com also provides an interactive map of the United States showing how hospitals within each state as a whole compared to one another. Texas, California and New Jersey ranked at the bottom with under 17% of the amount their hospitals charged being reimbursed by Medicare. Vermont (63%), Tennessee (71%) and Maryland (94%) ranked at the top.
Each report on the web site can also be filtered to provide deeper analysis per geographic region and service provided. This filtering functionality allows visitors to compare hospitals based upon a specific service which could be valuable if a choice of hospitals is possible for their procedure. For example, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona could see a list of hospitals providing hip and femur procedures and the average amount they charged, and the average amount reimbursed by Medicare.
"As healthcare becomes an industry driven more by competition, we believe patients as consumers should have as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions," explained Michael McCallister, co-creator of HospitalOwl.com. "We believe transparency is sorely needed within the healthcare field, and having readily available information is an important step in that process".
About Terabyte Media
Terabyte Media has a large roster of many notable web sites including ContactHelp.com (http://www.contacthelp.com), HelpOwl.com (http://www.helpowl.com) and ManualOwl.com (http://www.manualowl.com). Many of the web properties focus on consumer advocacy and self-service. The combined web sites currently service over seven million unique visitors per month.