Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Health Comparison Maps

The trend in online mapping seems to have moved away from building age maps and onto health comparison maps. In the last six months of 2013 we saw a flurry of building age maps. So far in 2014 the most apparent trend in new online maps seems to be in the area of health.

CalQualityCare.org allows Californians to researchh information on California hospitals, medical groups, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Enter a zip code or address into the CalQualityCare.org search box and you can view all the nearby health facilities on a Google Map.

Select a facility on the map and you can view the facility's ratings in a range of patient experience and patient safety areas.

Thanks to ProPublica we now also have a Google Map that allows you to find nearby emergency rooms and find out which has the shortest average waiting time. The ER Wait Watcher lets you search for any address in the United States and visualize all nearby emergency rooms. Not only does it show you all the nearby emergency rooms but it displays the average waiting times and tells you how long it will take to get there from your current location.

In 2013 the New York Times published an interesting Medicare Map that shows how much different hospitals charge Medicare throughout the country for the same treatment.

The map compares the charges made at 3,300 hospitals nationwide for the 100 most commonly performed treatments and procedures. The colored markers on the map show whether individual hospitals charged less than the average (blue markers), 1 to 2 times the average (yellow) or twice the national average (red).

Users can click on individual hospitals to view how much they charged Medicare in five common types of case and across a range of other types of medical case.  

BetterDoctor's PriceMaps allows you to compare the cost of common medical procedures charged by hospitals throughout the USA. Simply select a condition from the drop-down menu and the price charged by hospitals across the country is displayed on the Google Map.

A green marker indicates the cheapest prices within the map's boundaries. A red marker signifies the most expensive prices. The map sidebar also displays each hospital's US News ranking and US News score.

BestMedicarePrice is a Google Map that allows you to find the prices charged by hospitals for the top 100 most frequently billed procedures.

To search the map just select a procedure from the drop-down menu. The prices charged by hospitals for the procedure are then displayed on the map. If you click on a price on the map you can view the hospital's name, the Medicare reimbursement and the actual expected cost.

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