Posted In Health News & Studies on July 17, 2012
- Consumer Reports, Leapfrog Group, US News, HealthGrades … all look at Medicare statistics, at least in part, to determine their “rankings” of hospitals in various quality and safety categories.
- Because the rates Maryland’s hospitals are paid are determined by the state and not by Medicare, and because those rates are based in part on how hospitals perform on many safety measures collected by the state, Maryland’s hospitals are not required to report quality measurements to Medicare, though they do voluntarily report on many measures.
- Maryland’s unique hospital rate-setting system also exempts us from other federal programs, such as Value Based Purchasing, because Maryland has its own, in many ways more stringent, program to adjust hospital reimbursement based on the quality of care they provide. These programs are not identical, so there are measures included in the federal program on which we don't currently report.
- Maryland’s hospitals submit to the state extensive data about the quality of care they provide, and all that information is available to the public at the Maryland Health Care Commission Web site.
- Maryland’s hospitals were among the first in the nation to voluntarily make information public about quality and patient safety. Maryland’s hospitals fully supported mandatory reporting of quality data as part of Maryland’s hospital rate setting process, and continue to support and participate in efforts to make health care safer for all Marylanders.
- Hospital-specific information on some measures often is not available simply because a particular hospital may not have a sufficient number of cases to meet a reporting threshold in that category.
- There are many organizations claiming to “rate” hospital quality; each is but one tool available to consumers. The bottom line for patients: Work with your doctor or other health care provider to make sure the hospital you choose is the right one for you.