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Death rate 70 percent lower at top-rated hospitals: HealthGrades annual hospital quality study
Date:10/13/2008

GOLDEN, Colo. (October 14, 2008) Patients have on average a 70 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's top-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals across 17 procedures and conditions analyzed in the eleventh annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, issued today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

While overall death rates declined from 2005 to 2007, the nation's best-performing hospitals were able to reduce their death rates at a much faster rate than poorly performing hospitals, resulting in large state, regional and hospital-to-hospital variations in the quality of patient care, the study found.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, also found that if all hospitals performed at the level of five-star rated hospitals, 237,420 Medicare dealths could potentially have been prevented over the three years studied. More than half of those deaths were associated with four conditions: sepsis (a life-threatening illness caused by systemic response to infection), pneumonia, heart failure and respiratory failure.

The HealthGrades study of patient outcomes at the nation's approximately 5,000 hospitals is the most comprehensive annual study of its kind, analyzing more than 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007. The study examines procedures and conditions ranging from heart valve-replacement surgery to heart attack to pneumonia.

Based on the study, HealthGrades today made available its 2009 quality ratings for all nonfederal hospitals in the country at www.healthgrades.com, a Web site designed to help individuals research and compare local healthcare providers.

Full reports on death rate trends in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia are available in the study. And, for the first time, HealthGrades has released hospital death rates for the nation's 15 largest
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Contact: Scott Shapiro
sshapiro@healthgrades.com
720-963-6584
HealthGrades
Source:Eurekalert

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