A typical patient may be 65% less likely to die at a hospital with high quality ratings than at a hospital with low quality ratings.[@@]
Researchers at HealthGrades Inc., Golden, Colo., have come to that conclusion in a study based on an analysis of 37 million Medicare hospitalization records gathered from 2002 to 2004.
The researchers looked at mortality statistics for 18 procedures and diagnoses at each hospital, and they gave each hospital a grade of 1 star for below average outcomes, 3 stars for average outcomes and 5 stars for excellent outcomes.
The overall risk-adjusted U.S. hospital mortality rate improved an average of 9.7% at 1-star hospitals between 2002 and 2004, 12% at 3-star hospitals and 14% at 5-star hospitals, the researchers report.