-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Baltimore is the top U.S.
city for hospital care, according to a new report that examined
patient death and complication rates at nearly 5,000 hospitals
across the nation.
The report identified hospitals performing in the top 5 percent
for 26 different medical procedures and diagnoses, and then ranked
cities according to those with the highest percentage of top-ranked
Baltimore had nine top-performing hospitals out of 19 eligible
hospitals in the city. The other cities in the top 10 were:
Phoenix-Prescott, Ariz.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Richmond, Va.;
Cincinnati; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; St. Louis;
Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; and Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, Mich.
Cities in which almost half of their hospitals were top-rated
included Baltimore (47 percent), Phoenix-Prescott (44 percent),
Cedar Rapids (43 percent) and Richmond (43 percent), the
The report was released Tuesday by HealthGrades, an independent
source of doctor and hospital quality outcomes. The city hospital
care rankings are part of HealthGrades' 10th annual Hospital
Quality and Clinical Excellence study.
The report also found that top-rated hospitals (Distinguished
Hospitals for Clinical Excellence) were found in 38 states and that
the top cities for hospital quality are found in 26 states.
Medicare patients at top-rated hospitals had a 30 percent lower
risk-adjusted death rate and a nearly 2 percent lower risk-adjusted
in-hospital complication rate compared to patients at all other
If all hospitals performed at the same level as the top-rated
hospitals, the lives of nearly 166,000 Medicare patients could
potentially have been saved and 6,800 in-hospital complications
could potentially have been avoided, according to the report.
Currently, one in seven Medicare patients is harmed as a result
of their hospitalization and many patients actually fear going to
the hospital, according to HealthGrades. Therefore, it's important
to identify and acknowledge hospitals that provide the best care,
the authors of the report pointed out in a HealthGrades news
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers
advice about choosing
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