Healthgrades issues 2017 report on US hospitals: 5 things to know

Healthgrades, a consumer resource where patients can find information on physicians and hospitals regarding care quality, recently issued a report their 2017 performance report on U.S. hospitals.

For the evaluation, the company analyzed three years (2013 through 2015) of Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data from nearly 4,500 hospitals across the nation. Hospital performance was assessed based on risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates for 32 conditions and procedures. Additionally, two procedures based on state data from 18 states representing more than 50 percent of the country's population were also evaluated.

Here are five things to know about Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation on hospital quality.

1. The rankings: Healthgrades groups hospital quality performance into three categories: five star, three star and one star. To see the top hospitals for 2016, click here. Recipients of Healthgrades 2017 hospital awards for clinical excellence are scheduled to be released on Jan. 17.

2. By procedure: For six procedures, there was a significant reduction in risk for complications when comparing five-star hospitals to one-star hospitals.

• Coronary artery bypass grafting (86 percent lower risk of complication)
• Hip replacement (72.7 percent)
• Bariatric surgery (72.1 percent)
• Knee replacement (67.2 percent)
• Hysterectomy (59.5 percent)
• Pacemaker procedures (56.6 percent)

3. Lives and complications: In total, if all hospitals performed similarly to five-star hospitals over the three years evaluated, 223,412 lives could have potentially been saved and 162,215 complications could have possibly been avoided.

4. Procedure quality varies by hospital: According the Healthgrades report, "A patient may have a conveniently located high-quality hospital to receive the care they need. However, in some cases the best-performing hospital for a particular procedure may not be the one closest to the patient's home... consumers should consider driving farther to receive care at a hospital that has demonstrated superior outcomes in their area of need, especially if they are at higher risk for complications."

5. Risk IQ tool: In addition to the report, Healthgrades released a first-of-its-kind online patient risk assessment tool, which allows patients to assess their personal risk for surgical complications for six common surgical procedures. To learn more about the Healthgrades' Risk IQ Tool, click here.

More articles on quality: 
Healthgrades' new Risk IQ Tool helps consumers make informed care decisions 
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