Medicare.gov's Hospital Compare section is a highly recommended resource that allows users to compare hospitals in a given region. The site lists hospitals by ZIP code and publishes information on how each one performs against Medicare's quality and safety standards.
This section of Medicare.gov is relatively easy to use and browse. Visitors can browse hospitals by entering a ZIP code or hospital name. Information varies depending on the hospital's popularity, but most are explored in depth with helpful tabs that break the material up into manageable sections. Although the quality information can be complex at times, the website does provide a helpful description for what users can expect to find and how to use it.
Like most government-sponsored websites, Medicare.gov doesn't put much effort into developing a cohesive and pleasant visual design. There are very few instances of images and multimedia to engage the reader aside from Google maps. Additionally, some of the pages put too much information on the page and become cluttered as a result.
Each hospital evaluated on Medicare.gov provides users with sometimes over 60+ different categories. In short, visitors have access here to extremely thorough hospital ratings of a quality higher than anything else they are likely to find elsewhere. Reviews cover a survey of patient experiences, efficacy of care, reported complications, payment, and much more.
The site's hospital rating data comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, possibly the most credible source of hospital evaluation criteria available to readers. This data mostly ranges in date from 2016-2017, meaning readers can be confident they are reading up-to-date assessments of healthcare facilities.
Highly credible government-sponsored website
Comprehensive information for each of the 4,000+ hospitals listed including 64 quality measures
Hospitals can be compared based on quality metrics as well as patient satisfaction
Patient data presented in user-friendly rankings and graphs
Some hospitals excluded depending on area of search
Overwhelming amount of information to read for more popular hospitals
Quality metrics are complex for general readers
Sponsors / Affiliations:
A federal government website managed and paid for by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Hospital finder tool, Medicare plan compare