Hospitals that use accrediting organizations don't have lower death rates, study finds

A study published in The BMJ found no association between U.S. hospitals that get accredited by independent organizations such as the Joint Commission and lower death rates.

The study — led by Harvard University researchers —  also found only a slight association between hospitals accredited by an independent organization and reduced readmission rates for 15 common medical conditions.

Researchers said they did not find evidence that patients who pick a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission receive any healthcare benefits compared to those who pick a hospital accredited by a different independent organization.

The study examined 4.2 million hospital admissions for 15 common medical and six common surgical conditions among patients age 65 and older. Admissions were recorded at 4,400 hospitals, including 2,847 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission, 490 accredited by other independent accrediting organizations, and 1,063 reviewed by a state survey agency. 

"The lack of meaningful differences in outcomes between accredited and state survey hospitals suggest that a closer examination of the benefits of private accreditation would be useful," the study authors concluded.

 

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