Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed legislation Wednesday requiring hospitals to provide more information about the quality of care they provide and its cost.
The new law, signed during a ceremony near Cincinnati, will allow Ohioans to visit the Ohio Department of Health's Web site to compare hospital costs and quality of care, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Ohio House Rep. Jim Raussen, R-Springdale, the bill's main sponsor, said the new law will help consumers make better-informed medical decisions.
"It's ironic," he said, "that it's easier to find more information today on what type of refrigerator to buy than on which hospital provides the best cardiac care."
Raussen says about 15 other states have approved similar legislation.
The law that becomes effective in 90 days will require all of the state's hospitals to report information on dozens of quality indicators developed by nationally recognized healthcare organizations, the Enquirer said. Hospitals must also report the costs of the top 60 inpatient and outpatient procedures they perform.
The Web site's database is not expected to be available until the middle of next year.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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