FAQ

What is honesthealth™?

honesthealth™ is a health care transparency tool created to provide relative price, quality, and patient experience information about medical facilities in the United States.

What is the honesthealth™ mission?

Our mission at honesthealth™ is very simple: everyone should have the information they need when it comes to making decisions about their health. Together, we can create the first health care value transparency tool for everybody.

Why is it important to have this information for health care?

Decisions we make about what health care facilities and practitioners to use can have important implications on both quality and associated prices, yet most of us have little objective, actionable information on which to base these decisions. For something as important as health care, it is critical we are informed when comparing hospitals and other providers and it is our mission to provide you everything – including distance, price, quality, and patient experience – in a format that is easy to understand.

Where does the quality, reviews, and pricing information come from?

honesthealth™ ratings include information from the following government agencies: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), and The Joint Commission (TJC). All of these sources are brought together to enable patients to make informed health care decisions.

What are the Patient Experience Surveys?

The surveys are derived from patient surveys performed by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) after exiting the hospital. HCAHPS was developed in partnership between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The survey has been endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) as well as the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) and serves as the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care. The survey asks 27 key questions such as “Would you recommend this hospital?” in order to measure patient satisfaction with their recent stay. You can see representations of the responses for each hospital in the details page. The data only reports range of responses such as over 300, over 100, etc. and that is why there is not the exact number of respondents listed in the results. For more information, click here.

What is the Quality Grade?

The Quality Grade is derived from quality measures taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Joint Commission (TJC). These measures vary in what they measure from mortality rates to process measure compliance like giving certain medications at the right time. Many of these process measures come from The Core Measures defined by the Joint Commission, which monitor the use of recommended treatments that scientific evidence has shown produce the best results. These measure patient safety across a wide range of critical criteria such as stroke, pneumonia and heart failure. We report performance on all of these measurements as well as summarize them into an overall single grade and grades for specific areas of care such as Cardiac Care to make it easy to understand and ultimately help you make health care decisions.

What is the Pricing Score?

The Pricing Score uses Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) pricing data for both outpatient and inpatient procedures when available. The price for each service is compared to other hospital prices. These relative price measures are then combined into an overall price score to communicate how expensive the hospital is compared to others on average. The most expensive hospitals on average a four-dollar-sign pricing score, while the least expensive receive a one-dollar-sign price score. We provide a confidence estimate of each overall pricing score based on the number of actual prices used. We also provide estimates of overall The more price information we have, the more price information we pass on to you. We currently show specific prices for those with Medicare and the uninsured because we are confident we have enough data to do so. It is our goal to make all prices honest because it is your right as the patient to know how much your care costs!

What is MyValue?

MyValue uses the Quality Grade, Pricing Score, Patient Experience Surveys and distance from your selected location to create an order of hospitals for that user based on the highest value. You may also choose to sort the results based on any single criteria, such as Sort by Quality. It is a core belief at honesthealth™ that health care should be sought based on overall value and it is thus important to bring all the different measures together into one overall value ranking. Often sites will present only quality or only price, leaving the consumer to choose with incomplete information. When the quality information is missing, a higher price can be taken to mean higher quality, which is not necessarily the case. In the honesthealth™ system we make our best guess as to what most will find as the highest value, and then let the user filter and sort to find the perfect provider for them.

I often find inconsistencies between ratings sites. On one site a hospital gets five stars but on another site it gets one. How do I know what to believe?

Evaluating the quality of health products and services is an emerging science. Different sites use different aspects of quality, patient experience, and even price and present them differently. Not surprisingly, they come to different conclusions. It's important to consider the source and time frame of the information. Always look to find validated measures through organizations you trust. You may also want to compare multiple sources of information.

Why is there information for medical facilities on the site but none on individual doctors?

Reporting at an individual physician level requires large amounts of reliable information to ensure accurate results. We are currently working with partners to unlock this data for public use. To help us in this mission, you can spread the word and Contact Your State Representative. Today, many states have enough information to make nearly all aspects of health care honest.

Is honesthealth™ free to use?

Yes, honesthealth™ is free to use and always will be.

How can I spread the word?

Do what you do best! Get the word out on social media, tell your family in friends to expect the best for their health, and demand that health care become honest.