New Hospital Rating System
You want the best care when you are injured. Recently, the US News surveyed 4,667 hospitals in the states to see where they rank. 12 specialties determined the ranking of the participation hospital. Now, 16 hospitals are considered the best in the nation. One of the problems is that judging system used to determine the star rating was confusing. Locally, teaching hospitals that are considered good in the community, rank lower when compared to smaller hospitals. The teaching hospitals are bigger and have a high volume of patients, which may be one of the reasons are low. Also, the teaching hospitals have to meet certain requirements to be included in the study.
The medicare.gov website is available to compare local hospitals. Simply enter your zip code and a list of hospitals pop up. You then have the choice to shop around and compare. After choosing a hospital to browse, compare the statisitcs and choose the best fit for you.
- General information
- Survey of patient experience
- Timely and effective care
- Re-admissions and death
- Use of medical images
- Payment and value of care
So Why Aren’t These Ratings Accurate?
US News determined the ranking using several methods. Collecting patients’ experiences and clinical outcomes was one of the ways they compiled their data. Teaching hospitals tend to treat sicker patients. This could cause the patients surveyed to give a lower score when filling out survey. Furthermore, Veterans’ Affairs hospitals were omitted from the survey. If you are a veteran and you wanted to compare hospitals, wouldn’t you want VA hospitals included in your search?
Additionally, doctors with high reputations were asked to name hospitals they think are the best in the area. If a hospital gets a high enough percentage of recommendations from those doctors, they move up on the list. Also, a hospital could have a good score, but if they don’t have a high score in one of the specialty categories, they don’t rank as high.
So What Can I Do?
In conclusion, if you plan on using the medicare.gov hospital comparison site, remember, it is meant to be used as a guide. The hospital rating system is a just a jumping off point. If you plan on having a surgery or a procedure, researching your local hospitals is ideal. Also, ask questions while you are in the hospital. You have every right to ask the hospital staff why they scored low in certain area.
Hurt After a Hospital’s Mistake?
The hospital you should be the best choice for you. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. If you do choose a poor hospital or doctor and you are seriously injured, please contact Lowenthal and Abrams right away. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you.