Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hospital Death Rates Now Online - Compare

How well thousands of individual U.S. hospitals do on the ultimate test of hospital competence - whether very sick patients live or die - is now revealed on the Web for all to see, in hard numbers.

The Hospital Compare page maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week began displaying actual hospital death rates for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia patients.

Until now, only relative performance had been shown—whether mortality for such patients at a particular hospital was about the same as the national average, better than average, or worse than average.

Hospitals with high death rates will be held more accountable than when they could hide behind "worse than average," which is simply too vague to carry much impact. Read the entire article.

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