Zagat for Massachusetts Health Care?

Massachusetts has a new Zagat-like guide for health care — or at least, the beginnings of one.

The state's Health Care Quality and Cost Council revamped its My Health Care Options just last month. So today, I decided to try it out. The question in my mind: If I have a heart attack, which hospital should I go to? I clicked on "Condition or Procedure." I chose "Hospital" as the provider type and "Heart attack" as the condition, then plugged in my zipcode, 02446.

Hmmm. The first item on the list is the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Dana Farber sort of, well, a cancer hospital?

Okay, let's try again. How about if I want weight loss surgery? Click. Click. Huh? Dana Farber at the top of the list again??!

But at least, the second hospital on the list is Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and clicking on it gives me a lovely display with four stars — meaning top-rated care — and three $$$s-- more expensive than the state average. A lot like! Or Fodor's!

It would be easy to get snarky about being sent to Dana Farber for weight-loss surgery. But I'd rather just comment that I've been waiting forever for a Tripadvisor for doctors and hospitals, and the closer we get to one, the better. Keep at it, Quality and Cost folks...

This program aired on August 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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