HOW GOOD ARE
In December 2012, federal health officials redistributed an estimated $964 million in Medicare payments to hospitals based on the quality of care patients received — it's effectively a pay-for-performance program.
The amount of money isn't huge — it's roughly 1 percent of total Medicare payments — but the index used to calculate the financial bonuses and penalties does provide one clear measurement of hospital quality.
How did officials measure quality? Two ways: "Measures of timely and effective medical care" and surveys of patients' hospital experience. The two sets of measurements are weighted and combined in a 100-point index.
Roughly two-thirds of the hospitals in the Kansas City area received scores better than 50 on the index, but scores spanned the gamut. Click on the dots representing hospitals on the map above to see their "performance score." Red dots indicate higher ratings. Blue dots indicate lower ratings.
SOURCES: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Kaiser Health News