Compare health care options using online tools

It can be difficult to find health care providers such as doctors, hospitals or nursing facilities that meet your needs. Yet you need to compare before choosing your health care providers or plans, because your decision can impact your health outcomes.

Now, you can find compare tools in one convenient place, Medicare’s Quality Care Finder, available at The tools have easy-to-use and objective quality information to help you make “apples to apples” comparisons among similar types of providers and plans.

Providers and facilities may vary in how well they care for patients and their experience with specific health conditions or procedures. Finding the right expertise and care for your needs may help speed up your recovery time and improve health problems. Here are some of tools available through Quality Care Finder:

• Hospital Compare. Compare Medicare-certified hospitals based on the quality of their care.

• Nursing Home Compare. Find Medi-care- and/or Medicaid-certified nursing homes based on services, like dementia care, ventilators or rehabilitation, and then compare their star ratings and the quality of care they give.

• Home Health Compare. Find Medicare-certified home-health agencies based on services, like skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy and home-health aides, and then compare each home health agency based on the quality of their care.

• Dialysis Facility Compare. Find Medicare-certified dialysis facilities and their offered services and then compare each facility based on quality of care.

• Physician Compare. Find doctors based on medical specialty, clinical training, foreign languages spoken and more.

• Plan Finder. Compare quality ratings of available Medicare health and drug plans, and get detailed information about the cost and benefits of each.

To start benefitting from these valuable tools, visit

qualitycarefinder. Data are collected and updated regularly to ensure accurate information to help you make the best choices. You should discuss the information with your doctor and loved ones, and visit the facilities you are considering.

To learn more about Medicare and other resources, visit, or call (800) MEDICARE (633-4227). TTY users should call (877) 486-2048. — newsusa