COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - The state's Medicaid agency has unveiled an easy-to-navigate website showing the financial data of South Carolina's 60 hospitals.

Director Tony Keck says his agency's multi-stage project is aimed at bringing transparency to health care costs by posting data online so that it's easy to access and interpret.

The data released with Monday's launch includes five years' worth of profitability and occupancy data of hospitals statewide, as well as what each collected from Medicaid for treating uninsured patients.

The project's next stages will be more useful for consumers, when they'll be able to compare what hospitals charge for the same services.

Keck says that will allow patients to shop around for non-emergency care as high-deductible plans push more of the cost of health care onto workers.

The information, which is maintained by the state Department of Health and Human Services, is at