Hospital quality ratings are prepared by a huge number of different organizations, which makes it difficult for the consumer to learn & compare. A hospital “good” in one service, may not have a strong ranking in another. Most important – do not assume anything, and check more than one source. Three ideas to begin: 1. Check the first few national (all states) listings on this page, below. 2. Check a report prepared by someone in your state – it might be more comprehensive and/or current. 3. If you need certain specialty information, such as heart care information, read a cardiac ratings report for example (subcategory at the top of this page), since some areas are more highly developed. Compare the findings and talk it over with your doctor and, if necessary, community leaders. PS – you can learn a lot by checking reports in other states – about survival, performance, quality standards and consumer responsibilities
Visit Hospital Compare to find hospital star ratings and complications for hospitals in all states. Federal government (at medicare.gov) gives 1 to 5 stars and compares hospital ratings for heart attack (AMI), heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, hip & knee, preventing infections and surgical complications, timeliness of Emergency (ER) dept., use of medical imaging. Most data are from 2018-2019; some ratings are older. Includes death rate comparisons from heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, CABG; and return to hospital (readmission) rates. Click on Timely & Effective Care, or Complications. Shows patient satisfaction HCAHPS ratings (patient experience opinions) from 2018-2019. Some info on colonoscopies and cataracts. Editor’s Pick because the government standardized broad ratings for all hospitals, and most ratings are based on more than just Medicare patients. However, it is still complicated. Small volume hospitals will not show data for some measures. Be sure to click on Show Graphs or View More Details. Today’s stars may reflect older data than shown at the website. Read the fine print. Updated 2020.
WhyNotTheBest.org is a helpful website to compare hospitals and check ratings, although the number of measures is few. Allows comparisons within a state, up to 70 hospitals at a time. Currently using 2017-2018 data for most measures. Some measure are older. Emergency room care, blood clots, infections, influenza vaccination, patient satisfaction, survival rates (mortality for heart care, pneumonia, COPD and stroke), readmissions, old charges from 2011 and more. Must SCROLL in the measures selected box, to find all the other kinds of reports and measures that don’t readily appear. Trends are shown for many hospitals, and you might be able to find Top Performers in the country at this website. Operated by IPRO
Check HealthInsight (Comagine Health) to find national rankings for hospitals in all states. The overall hospital rankings are based on a summary of patient experience (satisfaction), hospital infections, mortality (for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia) and readmissions. Health Insight, a project of Oregon, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada, developed a helpful composite ranking for nearly every hospital in the nation, using national CMS measures and satisfaction ratings from inpatients. Performance on preventing infections contributes 45% to the hospital’s national ranking. Patient experience results contribute 35% to the score. Mortality and readmissions each contribute 10% to the rankings. Results shown by state. Easier to use than the federal HospitalCompare website, but less detail. Dates are from admissions primarily in 2018, pulled from CMS hospitalcompare in November 2019.
Hospital Ratings (5-star, 3-star, 1-star) for over 30 diseases & inpatient procedures: Stroke, back surgery, COPD, diabetes, gall bladder surgery, bowel obstruction, GI Bleed, hip fracture repair, hip replacement, total knee replacement, prostate removal, TURP, hysterectomy (listed under gynecologic surgeries), respiratory failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, defibrillator, pacemaker, valve surgery, sepsis, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, abdominal aneurysm, stomach surgery, peripheral vascular bypass & more. Probably Medicare-only data for most conditions, although some states provide maternity, appendectomy, and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) data. More extensive list than the federal government’s site. Publicly-traded company. Most data in 2019 ratings are from Medicare patients, from 2015 to 2017. Patient satisfaction ratings (2017 data) are featured by HealthGrades. One hospital at time, unfortunately. No longer Editor’s Pick, since HealthGrades removed the 3-year patient volume, and actual mortality or complication rates compared to predicted. Mostly, the site shows which ratings awards were given to the hospital by HealthGrades – a fee likely was required for publicizing the award.
The Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition, asks hospitals to voluntarily report how closely they follow recommended quality and safety practices. CLICK on the blue [i] to the right of each green bar chart to find out if your hospital meets survival expectations and/or volume standards of 50 very-low birth weight babies for High-Risk Delivery-Neonatal ICU patients per year. Other volume standards are also set for pancreatic resections and other cancer surgery. Info on infection rates and early elective cesarean deliveries are reported. Many, but unfortunately not all hospitals participate; easy to compare. Updated for 2019, but period covered is unclear. Leapfrog was a pioneer in getting ratings in the public eye. The 2020 survey will be shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO – Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, behavioral health care, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes (called nursing care centers) & assisted living centers, and other health care services. A few actual scores for acute care hospitals and behavioral health (mental health) programs may be available for 2018. For nursing homes, consumers are advised also to check state inspection reports . We recently discovered a 1-star Florida nursing home (the lowest possible rating in the state) had been accredited by the Joint Commission. Consumers are always advised to check multiple sources and ratings when researching quality of care. Conflicts in scores may suggest quality is not consistent.
The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), founded by the American Osteopathic Association, lists names of acute hospitals and their laboratories, critical access hospitals, office-based and other ambulatory surgery centers; behavioral health, and primary stroke centers, that are accredited under the HFAP program. Competitor to the Joint Commission
List of Accredited Chest Pain Centers – some with PCI (percutaneous cardiac intervention). Must meet emergency department requirements and standards for timely diagnosis and treatment. List is interactive by state or type of accreditation, including atrial fibrillation (A Fib) and cardiac cath; heart failure, heartCARE center and more. Shows location of each hospital. Provided by the nonprofit American College of Cardiology (ACC)
This directory identifies birth centers accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Standards are set by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). Birthing centers practice midwifery (midwives) and take a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy and maternity care
Find a Cancer Center. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of NIH, has designated Cancer Centers, and Comprehensive Centers (71 total in 37 states and DC). Search database by state, region or name. NCI-designated cancer centers are characterized by scientific excellence and are research-oriented. Not all states have one
American College of Surgeons offers the Commission on Cancer – Find Cancer Centers or Surgeons – Search by zip code (or city and state) and up to a 100 mile driving distance. Facilities are accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation of a cancer center is based on ability to comply with established CoC standards
Compare hospitals on patient satisfaction scores updated in 2019. Use the Find and Compare hospitals tab to view patient satisfaction HCAHPS survey ratings and opinions by hospital inpatients across the US. Side by side comparisons for 3 hospitals at a time, 2018 data. Find out how many patients would recommend their hospital, and the percent who give their hospital a 9 or 10 score. Voluntary hospital participation. Federal government oversees the HCAHPS survey process (H-Caps) – Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems
Find hospitals that have received certification in stroke care (Primary Stroke Centers or two other stroke designations), palliative care, hip and knee, heart failure, inpatient diabetes, perinatal services or ventricular assist devices in the US. Many are listed as having Advanced programs. Other types of certification may be available. Somewhat hard to use. The Joint Commission is the leading accrediting body for hospitals.
Find rehabilitation hospitals that are accredited by CARF – The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF offers the ability to do an online search for accredited facilities with specific rehab programs you may be interested in. Includes Behavioral Health, Pain Management, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord, Physical Rehab, Aging services, and more. Search engine is either simple (just zip code) or very complicated because of its detail, abbreviations and multiple choices