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Rating Hospitals By Risk-Adjusted Mortality

Fri, 11/06/2009 - 5:18am

An annual study of patient outcomes at each of the nation's 5,000 non-federal hospitals found a wide gap in quality between the nation's best hospitals and the rest. According to the study, issued by the independent healthcare ratings organization HealthGrades, patients at their highly-rated hospitals have a 52 percent lower chance of dying when compared to the U.S. hospital average.

The study also found that hospitals that have received the Stroke Certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) had an eight percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate than hospitals that have not received this certification.

The 2010 ratings for individual hospitals are available at http://www.healthgrades.com.

The study also found the following:

  • Overall, in-hospital, risk-adjusted mortality at the nation's hospitals improved, on average, about 11 percent since 2006.
  • Across all procedures and diagnoses in which mortality was studied, there was approximately a 72 percent lower chance of dying in a five-star rated hospital as compared to a one-star rated hospital.
  • Approximately 57 percent (127,488) of the potentially preventable deaths were associated with just four diagnoses: sepsis (44,622); pneumonia (29,251); heart failure (26,374) and respiratory failure (27,241).
  • Over the last three studies, Ohio and Florida consistently have had the greatest percentage of hospitals in the top 15 percent for risk-adjusted mortality
  • Across all procedures in which complications were studied, there was an 80 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more in-hospital complications in a five-star rated hospital compared to a one-star rated hospital.
  • Across all procedures studied, there was a 61 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more in-hospital complications in a five-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.
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