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Better Information for Patients

To help patients choose the best care to meet their individual needs, the Administration is committed to making better information about treatment options and quality of care available. In November, HHS launched a quality initiative to help people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid programs and their family members find the best nursing homes for their needs.

A five-state demonstration project is already underway to identify, collect and publish nursing home quality information in Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington. The quality measures identified will be recognized and accepted by consumers, clinicians and healthcare providers. CMS will begin publishing the information in April 2002, and will expand the project nationally in October. The initiative reflects the administration's commitment to improving quality of care in all aspects of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Over the next several years, CMS will work to develop and publish similar, meaningful consumer information for home health agencies, and eventually hospitals and other types of providers. The Administration will also continue to work closely with leading private-sector efforts to provide better information to patients.