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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Web helps consumers compare health care

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

By Jill Daly

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Comparing hospitals on various procedures and patient outcomes has been possible for a year now, on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare Web site, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. On Thursday the site added numbers on how frequently patients return to a hospital after being discharged, which might raise questions about quality of care.

Three of Pittsburgh's major hospitals, Allegheny General, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside and West Penn Hospital, stand fairly close together in their process of care and outcome of care numbers -- following preferred patient procedures 80 to 100 percent of the time and reaching or surpassing the national rates of preferred outcomes. Some differences do stand out:

Presbyterian fares better than the national average in heart deaths: 7.9 percent compared to a 11.1 percent national rate (data based on Presby's 837 patients over a three-year period). AGH's rate was 10 percent, based on 345 patients; West Penn, 9.5 percent, 276 patients.

Presbyterian also fared better in death rates for pneumonia patients: 7.3 percent, out of 600 patients admitted for pneumonia; AGH (and West Penn) were statistically similar to the national rate, which was 11.5 percent.

In the new data on the site, outcome of care is also measured in readmission rates. A CMMS announcement on the new data said hospital readmissions have been found to reduce the quality of health care while also increasing hospital costs.

 

To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette web site.
 

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