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Providence St. Mary receives "excellent" rating for surgery from Customer Reports

August 08, 2013

Providence St. Mary Medical Center has received an “excellent” rating for surgery from Consumer Reports in its recently released analysis of the nation’s hospitals.

Providence St. Mary was one of only seven hospitals in the state to receive Consumer Report’s highest rating for surgery, and was the only one in this region.

The national rating organization scores products and services on a scale from poor to excellent.

“Our surgery ratings give patients more information so that they can make informed choices before surgery,” said Dr. John Santa, medical director of Consumer Reports Health, in the organization’s article announcing the ratings. “And we hope that by highlighting performance differences, we can motivate hospitals to improve.”

To arrive at the ratings, Consumer Reports used a healthcare consulting firm to analyze billing claims that hospitals submitted to Medicare for patients 65 and older from 2009 through 2011. They focused on 27 common surgeries, including knee replacement, hip replacement, back surgery, angioplasty, and carotid artery surgery. They looked for the percentage of patients who, after having surgery, stayed in the hospital longer than expected – a sign of complications – and who passed away.

“The beauty of this approach is that preventable complications correlate with post-operative length of stay” said Dr. Arnold Millstein, director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford University, in the Consumer Reports article. Millstein was not involved in the analysis but has studied how hospitals measure and improve quality. “This is about as good as complications measure can be when using existing claims data.”

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