DENVER, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthGrades, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital, today released a list of America's Top Cities for Hospital Care. The rankings are based on a comprehensive study of patient death and complication rates at the nation's nearly 5,000 hospitals.
As part of its tenth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, HealthGrades identified those hospitals performing in the top 5% nationwide across 26 different medical procedures and diagnoses, then ranked cities by highest percentage of these Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™.
Baltimore, MD ranked #1 in the nation, with nine top-performing hospitals out of 19 eligible hospitals. Rounding out the top ten markets for hospital care quality were: Phoenix-Prescott, AZ; Cedar Rapids, IA; Richmond, VA; Cincinnati, OH; West Palm Beach, FL; Chattanooga, TN; St. Louis, MO; Hartford-New Haven, CT; and Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI respectively. The Top Cities for Hospital Care list is based on the percent of Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence award recipients compared to the number that are eligible in that particular city. The complete list of Top Cities for Hospital Care and all Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence can be found at www.healthgrades.com.
In an environment where one in seven Medicare beneficiaries is harmed as a result of their hospitalization and patients are fearful of the very institutions that are entrusted with saving their lives, it is important to identify and acknowledge those hospitals that are leading the way in reducing mortality and complication rates and to provide consumers access to this information.
For the communities themselves, these hospitals have significant impact. In some instances, the top cities named in this report can make the claim that almost half of their hospitals provide this level of care including: Baltimore (47%), Phoenix-Prescott (44%), Cedar Rapids (43%), and Richmond, Virginia (43%).
"Today's healthcare consumer expects access to credible, independent information about the quality of care available to them," said Kristin Reed, MPH, HealthGrades vice president of hospital ratings and study author. "HealthGrades is proud of its longstanding tradition of educating the American public about both the gaps in quality of care among hospitals, and with actionable information about the top-performing hospitals in their communities."
Other key findings from the study include:
- Distinguished Hospitals can be found in 38 states. The top cities for hospital quality, determined by having the most Distinguished Hospitals in a Designated Market Area (DMA), are found in 26 states.
- Specifically, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 30.07% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.86% lower risk-adjusted inhospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared to all other hospitals.
- In fact, if all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, 165,704 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved and 6,800 Medicare inhospital complications could potentially have been avoided.
HealthGrades Hospital Quality Distinctions
As part of this study, HealthGrades evaluates each of the nation's 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at www.healthgrades.com. HealthGrades hospital quality distinctions are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being evaluated, and no hospital pays to be evaluated. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.
HealthGrades, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. More than 200 million consumers use the HealthGrades websites, including HealthGrades.com and BetterMedicine.com, to research, select, and connect with a physician or hospital, and use its comprehensive information about clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, patient safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions and take action. Find more information about our products and services at HealthGrades.com. Follow us on Twitter (@HealthGrades) and Facebook for news and updates. More information on how HealthGrades guides Americans to their best health can be found at www.healthgrades.com.