Consumer Reports’ New Ratings Evaluate U.S. Hospitals For Scheduled Surgeries

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Analyze Length of Hospital Stays and Mortality Rates; Includes for Five Common Surgery Types

YONKERS, N.Y., July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For the first time, has rated on how patients fare during and after surgery. The Ratings include an overall surgery Rating, which combines results for 27 categories of , as well as individual Ratings for five specific procedure types: back surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, angioplasty, and carotid artery surgery.

Up to 30 percent of hospital patients suffer infections, heart attacks, strokes, or other complications after surgery. But consumers have very little to go on when selecting a hospital because it’s not clear which hospitals are doing the best job at keeping surgery patients safe. Although hospitals are required to report to government agencies and some submit data to national registries to see how they stack up against one another, vital safety information remains largely hidden from consumers.

Consumer Reports’ Surgery Ratings are based on an analysis of billing claims that hospitals submitted to Medicare for patients 65 and older, from 2009 through 2011, and cover 2,463 hospitals in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The surgery Ratings are based on the percentage of a hospital’s Medicare patients who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected for their procedure. Research shows that mortality and length of stay correlate with complications, and some hospitals themselves use this approach to monitor quality. To develop the Ratings, Consumer Reports worked with MPA, a health care consulting firm with expertise in analyzing billing claims and clinical records data and in helping hospitals use the information to improve patient safety.

“We wish we had access to more comprehensive, standardized information, but this is the best that is available,” says John Santa, M.D.,…Read more

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