For the first time, Consumer Reports has rated U.S. hospitals on how patients fare during and after surgery. Hospitals were rated on two major outcomes: death at the hospital after surgery, and longer than expected hospital stays. In ratings categories noted as from “Better” to “Worse,” Valley Medical ranked as one of seven “better” hospitals in Washington state at which to have surgery.
The overall surgery rating combines results for 27 categories of scheduled surgeries, as well as individual ratings for five specific procedure types: back surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, angioplasty, and carotid artery surgery. The report covers nearly 2,500 acute-care or critical-access hospitals in the U.S. with sufficient Medicare fee-for-service in-patient surgical claims data from patients 65 and older. In Washington State 88 hospitals were included in the report.
“We have put many resources towards building a strong surgical program with capabilities for single-port, minimally invasive, robotic, joint replacement and specialty surgeries,” said Rich Roodman, CEO, Valley Medical Center. “This underscores that the people in our community can find quality surgical services in south King County. We offer the latest surgical procedures and techniques safely and right in their backyard.”
The ratings look at how hospitals nationwide compare in avoiding adverse events in Medicare patients during their hospital stay for surgery. To develop the ratings, Consumer Reports worked with healthcare consulting firm, MPA. The analysis looked at Medicare claims data from 2009 through 2011 for patients undergoing 27 categories of common scheduled surgeries. For each hospital, the results for all procedures are combined into an overall surgery rating. The rates are risk-adjusted based on patient characteristics, such as age, gender, and other health conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes. The ratings don’t take into account complications that became apparent after patients were discharged from the hospital. The data appears in the September 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.