Hospital death rates go public

The lede:

For the first time, physicians and patients can directly compare hospitals’ mortality outcomes for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia care using the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Hospital Compare Web site.

The risk-adjusted data on Medicare patients from 2005 to 2007 were unveiled in August and represent the first set of outcomes metrics made available in such detail on the site. Government officials and patient-safety advocates want the new information to help patients make medical decisions and spur hospitals and physicians to make systemic changes to lower their patient death rates.

The whole shebang.