Bronson Quality Ranked Among Top Five Percent in Nation for Second Year in a Row

January 26, 2010


HealthGrades study evaluates patient outcomes at 5,000 U.S. hospitals


Bronson Methodist Hospital has been recognized as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™ in an independent study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. This is the second consecutive year that Bronson has received HealthGrades' top honor for overall clinical quality.


It is also the third major recognition Bronson has received from an independent ratings organization in the last six months, giving the hospital the most consistently high-rated quality performance of any hospital in southwest Michigan. Last July, Bronson received the 2009 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize awarded annually to only one U.S. hospital, and in August joined the top five percent of hospitals in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence.


HealthGrades 2010 study of quality at the nation's nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals places Bronson among 269 hospitals performing in the top five percent for their clinical quality across more than two dozen procedures and diagnoses. The study estimates that 150,132 lives could have been saved and 13,104 complications avoided over the three years studied if all Medicare patients were treated at hospitals like Bronson. The study also shows that the Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™ are improving patient outcomes at a faster rate, reflecting a commitment to quality that stands as a model for all other hospitals.


"This recognition serves as great validation of the work of our physician partners and staff, but more importantly it helps direct patients to the hospitals where they can get the best possible care," said Bronson President and CEO, Frank Sardone. "Studies like these single out the hospitals in the nation that in numerous studies over multiple years, are consistently delivering optimal care. That's what we strive for at Bronson, and we are honored to have the HealthGrades research confirm our results."


For this study, HealthGrades analyzed approximately 40 million Medicare hospitalization records that cover the latest three-year period, from 2006 to 2008. Because the hospitalization records come from the federal government, no hospital can opt in or out of HealthGrades' rating process. The analysis is risk-adjusted to account for differences in patient populations between hospitals.


"Our data show that only a select few hospitals achieve high-quality patient outcomes not just in a few categories of care, but across the board and over time," said Rick May, M.D., HealthGrades vice president and an author of the study. "Patients in communities with a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence should feel proud of the hospital's accomplishments, and confident that the level of care there is among the very best in the nation."


Last October, a separate HealthGrades study named Bronson the best hospital in southwest Michigan for joint replacement and spine surgery and awarded it five-star ratings for: total knee replacement surgery, total hip replacement surgery, back and neck surgery with spinal fusion, treatment of heart failure, treatment of gastrointestinal bleed, treatment of bowel obstruction, pneumonia treatment, treatment of chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, treatment of sepsis, and prostatectomy.


Methodology
In its 2010 study, HealthGrades independently and objectively analyzed approximately 40 million patient records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008, for 26 medical procedures and diagnoses at every one of the nation's nearly 5,000 non-federal hospitals. To qualify for the list, hospitals were required to meet minimum thresholds in terms of patient volumes, quality ratings and the range of services provided. Prior to comparing the inhospital mortality and complication rates of the nation's hospitals, HealthGrades risk adjusted the data, to compare on equal footing hospitals that treated sicker patients. Hospitals with risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates that scored in the top 5% or better nationally – which demonstrates superior overall clinical performance – were then recognized as Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence.


HealthGrades' methodology for this eight annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study can be found in the study and on the company's Web site.


About HealthGrades
Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD) is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of Web sites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-ten health property according to comScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on how HealthGrades guides America to better healthcare can be found at www.healthgrades.com.


Editor's note: A full copy of the study is available at healthgrades.com or by contacting Scott Shapiro at sshapiro@healthgrades.com or (720) 963-6584.



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