17:43 PM

Does Your Hospital Make the Grade?

Autumn Years Reports that in 2022, a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that one in four older Americans experienced patient harm during a hospital stay. The statistics include both temporary and permanent harm that patients suffered in October 2018, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is not always easy for consumers to discern which hospitals are high quality, according to Catherine MacLean, MD, PhD, Chief Value Medical Officer at HSS. Individuals may ask their doctor, family members or friends for advice or a recommendation. Once someone chooses a specialist for surgery or treatment, the physician’s hospital affiliation is an important consideration. Most patients will want to ensure that a hospital and doctor are covered under their health insurance.

Individuals may check websites that rate hospitals and health care providers, but the subjective information on these sites may not be reliable. It may even be fake. Companies have sprung up with questionable rating methods, and health care providers can pay to be listed.

Finding objective rating information Objective, credible information on hospital performance is available, notes Dr. MacLean, on a government website called Care Compare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collects data that consumers can review about the quality of health care at more than 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals across the country.

This article appeared in the spring 2024 print edition and online at  digitaledition.pub