Frequently Asked Questions

Why does ChooseWell provide quality data to the public?

Patients need and deserve information on the differences in care provided by physicians, hospitals and others on their care teams. When patients use this information to make health care choices, it can lead to better results and lower costs.

What is high-quality health care?

High-quality health care is safe, effective, timely, efficient and focused on the needs of the patient. Basically, it means patients get the right care at the right time, every time.

How do I know when to trust information about health care quality?

  • It’s tough. There are lots of sources of health care quality information available. It’s often best when information is “unbiased” or comes from a source that is not one of those being measured. Look for non-profit organizations, like the Midwest Health Initiative, which sponsors ChooseWell, and websites sponsored by government agencies like Hospital Compare.
  • Then, talk with your doctor or another member of your care team about the information you’ve read.

How does ChooseWell decide which practice sites and hospitals to show?

  • At this time, the practice sites shown are made up of primary care clinicians. ChooseWell considers primary care clinicians to be physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are trained in internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics and provide preventive and general medicine services.
  • The practice sites and hospitals are in the St. Louis region.
  • Practice sites must have at least 80 patients qualify for a measure to be included in the measure’s results. Hospitals must meet the minimum patient numbers determined by the organizations providing the results.

How do you assign or attribute patients to primary care providers?

  • A patient’s care is assigned to a primary care provider after at least one visit to the provider over a two-year period. If the patient had visits with more than one primary care provider, the care is assigned to the provider he or she saw more frequently. If there’s a tie, it goes to the physician seen most recently.

Where does ChooseWell get its information?

  • Information for the physician measures is provided by ChooseWell’s sponsor, the Midwest Health Initiative.
  • Information about hospitals is provided by federal government agencies and a national non-profit organization. More information about where the data comes from is here.

How often is the information on ChooseWell updated?

  • Information will be updated at least twice a year. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know when updates occur.

How did ChooseWell decide on the performance categories used to display the information about primary care?

  • ChooseWell wanted the site’s information to be accurate and easy to understand. It also wanted site visitors to be able to find detailed information on actual scores and background on the measures if that was important to them. Many patient, physician, hospital, health plan, union and employer representatives worked together to design ChooseWell.
  • For the primary care measures, practice sites were divided into four categories based on their scores.
    • Those in the highest category for each measure had a score in the top 10th percentile and the confidence interval of their score confirmed they were above average.
    • Those in the second highest category had a score above the median score for all practices, as confirmed by the practice site’s confidence interval.
    • Practices in the third category had a median score equal to all the practice sites for each measure or the confidence interval for the practice overlapped the median score for all the practice sites.
    • Practices in the lowest category had a median score below the median for all practice sites, as confirmed by the practice site’s confidence interval.
  • Performance categories were not developed for the hospital measures to keep those results consistent with the original source.