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Healthgrades study: New hospital ratings show wide 'quality chasm'

65% Lower Chance of Dying at Five-Star Hospitals Compared with One-Star Hospitals

Better Outcomes Associated with Higher Volume and More Specialists in Intensive Care, Confirming Leapfrog Standard

GOLDEN, Colo. (October 17, 2005) A typical patient has a 65 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's highest-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals, in 18 common procedures and diagnoses, according to a large-scale study released today by HealthGrades. That "quality chasm," the HealthGrades study shows, is growing, as the nation's best-performing hospitals lowered their mortality rates 45 percent faster than the poorest-performing hospitals over the same time period.

The findings are part of the eighth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, which analyzes 37 million Medicare hospitalization records, from the years 2002 through 2004, to rate the quality of care at each of the nation's more than 5,000 nonfederal hospitals. The hospital ratings, for 28 procedures and diagnoses at each facility, are listed free of charge for consumers at www.healthgrades.com.

"There is real reason to celebrate in this year's study of quality at America's hospitals," said Samantha Collier, MD, the primary author of the study and the vice president of medical affairs at HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company. "Overall, mortality rates are declining at our nation's hospitals. However, there's still a lot of work to be done because our findings support that we're not making much headway in closing the 'quality chasm' between the best and worst hospitals. If all hospitals performed as well as the highest rated hospitals, more than a quarter million lives would have been saved over the past three years."

Overall mortality rates improved 12 percent, the study shows, with some of the better outcomes associated with higher hospital vo
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Contact: Scott Shapiro
sshapiro@healthgrades.com
720-963-6584
HealthGrades
17-Oct-2005


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