Many hospitals gather information on how patients fare after surgery, but that information is not usually available to the public. So it is hard to compare hospitals when you're scheduling surgery. Consumer Reports just rated almost 2,500 hospitals for common surgical procedures, using a source of information that is available—hospital-billing data.
Researchers analyzed three years of Medicare billing records with the help of the health care consulting firm MPA. The analysis covered 27 kinds of common surgeries, including hip and knee replacements, back surgery, and surgery to clear blocked arteries.
Consumer Reports rated hospitals based on the percent of Medicare patients undergoing surgery who died or were hospitalized longer than expected, which could indicate complications.
Consumer Reports hopes its ratings will motivate hospitals to set high standards and empower patients.
Michigan hospitals that had the highest ratings include:
Bell Hospital Ishpeming &Z
Lakeland Regional Medical Center—St. Joseph Saint Joseph
Metro Health Hospital - Wyoming
ProMedica Bixby Hospital - Adrian
Scheurer Hospital - Pigeon
St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital - Howell
Michigan hospitals that rank the lowest include:
Beaumont Hospital—Royal Oak
Beaumont Hospital—Grosse Pointe
Hurley Medical Center - Flint
Munson Medical Center - Traverse City
Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center
Dearborn - Dearborn
Sparrow Hospital Lansing
Dr. John Santa, Consumer Reports' medical adviser, says, "We know the ratings aren't a perfect measurement, but we think they're an important first step in giving patients the information they need to make an informed choice."
Consumer Reports says if you think you've been harmed in the hospital, contact your local or state health department. If you're on Medicare, get in touch with your state's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org .
Beaumont released the following statement:
Beaumont strongly supports sharing of hospital data, but a comprehensive, standardized approach to rating hospital performance is needed.
With such an approach, consumers would get a more accurate picture of the unique capabilities and circumstances of hospitals of all sizes.
Knee replacement statement:
This rating is not consistent with the findings of others.
Beaumont, Royal Oak is ranked 26th in the nation for orthopedics, and best in Michigan, by U.S. News & World Report and has been recognized as a Top 10 national quality leader for mortality and efficiency.
We have performed 334 Medicare knee replacements at Beaumont, Royal Oak this year with no deaths and with a length of stay that's well below national benchmarks.
Oakwood hospital also released a statement:
Oakwood Healthcare has long been a leader in transparency in the region and across the country. We handle complex cases and evaluate how we provide quality, service and value to our patients and families and regularly measure more than 60 areas of quality and safety within our facilities. The Consumer Reports article only focuses on two of these data points. Their results are not consistent with the data from our own research or with the data from state and federal agencies.
Many factors combine in the equation that delivers the best overall quality and value, and we will always seek opportunities to improve. In fact, nearly 40 of our surgeons are performing within the top 10 percent of surgical outcomes and they are leading the way to develop processes and outcomes to improve our surgical practice and enhance the patient experience. Time and time again, Oakwood has been a leader in publicly reporting our quality outcomes. We intend to continue to be transparent and provide the best, highest quality care possible to our patients and the communities we serve.