Today, CMS’ “Compare” websites are separate entities that provide information on different provider types. Last week, CMS announced plans to combine and standardize these eight existing Compare tools, allowing users to access the same information through a single point of entry and simplified navigation to find the information that is currently divided in places like Nursing Home Compare and Hospital Compare. The new “Medicare Care Compare” on Medicare.gov will offer Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers and other users a consistent look and feel.
This change could be a mixed bag for providers. Consumers win when information is presented in a simple, consistent manner. The combination of all “Compare” websites may also improve beneficiary’s knowledge about less common services like hospice. However, it stands to reason that controversial changes, such as the stop sign icon from Nursing Home Compare, will be applied more broadly in the future.