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Consumer Reports Launches Online Hospital Ratings for More Than 3,400 U.S. Hospitals
Date:8/3/2009

ssments of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, known as HCAHPS. For the first time, the HCAHPS data will be available to consumers in a user-friendly interface with CR's familiar Ratings.

A team of statisticians and health experts analyzed the government data to develop the Ratings. The Health Ratings Center also integrated intensity of care rankings, revealing a link between patient satisfaction and intensity of care; the hospitals that have above average patient satisfaction Ratings provide, on average, a more conservative (and less expensive) type of medical care. The intensity of care rankings are based on data from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

"Our colleagues at Dartmouth have found that patients who live in regions with more intense care -- longer hospitalizations and more doctor visits -- rate the quality of care lower, and vice versa," said Santa. When Consumer Reports culled a list of U.S. teaching hospitals -- specifically, those teaching hospitals that are rated significantly above the national average and those that are significantly below average -- a similar pattern emerged. "Some of the teaching hospitals that got high marks were also among the ones with more conservative care," said Santa.

Consumer Reports rates 3,415 U.S. hospitals online at www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org. Consumers can log on to look up their local hospital in addition to a featured list of 48 teaching hospitals. Some examples of teaching hospitals that rose to the top of CR's Patient Ratings, which also provide more conservative care: Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center (LaCrosse, WI), Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (Lebanon, NH), University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (Madison, WI), and the University of North Carolina Hospital (Chapel Hill, NC).

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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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