Trading off cost versus quality for picking your favorite hospital

Post title - LIONblog

It is difficult to imagine a more difficult personal choice than picking a favorite hospital to be treated in after receiving a diagnosis. One is experiencing on his skin the concepts of multiple-objectives optimization. Ideally, one would like a very cheap and top-quality hospital, and if possible in the neighborhood of his home, ... ideally. In practice, one is dealing with tradeoffs.

Recently, the RWJF Hospital Price Transparency Challenge aims at increasing understanding and use of recently released hospital price data. The visualization category encourages submissions that allow users to better understand aspects of the data.

ClinicOptimizer is an interactive visualization that lets a customer select the best clinic based on his/her condition and preferences (described as interactive tradeoffs between clinic cost and quality). Additional insights about the pricing structure is offered. For sure, ClinicOptimizer will not solve all issues involved in this critical decision, but it will give more quantitative information to a person to base his decision on.

The more public data about healthcare becomes available(with suitable privacy-preserving ways), the better off individual patients are going to be, and the more empowered w.r.t. more organized and profit-seeking entities like insurance companies and hospitals.