New study grades Massachusetts hospitals - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

New study grades Massachusetts hospitals

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A new study has graded thousands of hospitals across the country and several in Massachusetts have received high marks.

On Tuesday, the Leapfrog Group released their spring 2018 Hospital Safety Grades, which assigns an 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', and 'F' letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the United States.

The Hospital Study Grade, according to Leapfrog, is the only rating in the country focused entirely on accidents, errors, injuries, and infections.

"The national numbers on death and harm in hospitals have alarmed us for decades. What we see in the new round of Safety Grades are signs of many hospitals making significant improvements in their patient safety record.  Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades have definitely spurred these improvement efforts. But the hospitals achieving new milestones are doing the hard work, and we salute them as well as the leaders, researchers and organizations fighting every year for patient safety," said Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder.

Leapfrog noted that the grades are calculated by top patient safety experts, are peer-reviewed, transparent, and free to the public.  The grades are also updated every six months.

Approximately 2,500 hospitals were graded with 30 percent of them receiving a 'A'.  Massachusetts was among five states with the highest percentage of 'A' graded hospitals this spring.  The other four included Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Two western Massachusetts hospitals received an 'A' grade - Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Holyoke Medical Center.

CLICK HERE to see how other Western Mass. hospitals that were graded.

None of the 56 Massachusetts hospitals graded received grades of 'D' or 'F' this spring.

  • 30 hospitals - 'A'
  • 17 hospitals - 'B'
  • 9 hospitals - 'C'

Some Massachusetts hospitals, however, were not among those graded.

Leapfrog told Western Mass News that sometimes there is not enough information to issue a grade.  Also, they noted that a hospital is not graded if measure scores for more than six process or structural measures or more than five outcome measures are missing.

In addition, the group noted that they are unable to calculate a grade for certain types of hospitals, including:

  • Critical access hospitals
  • Long-term care and rehabilitation facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • Federal hospitals, such as those operated by Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service
  • Some specialty hospitals, including surgical centers and cancer hospitals
  • Free-standing pediatric hospitals
  • Hospitals in U.S territories

"Additionally, Leapfrog graded fewer hospitals for Spring 2018 than in the past because of an unusual aberration in federal reporting. The data irregularity comes from reporting of Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs), measures issued by CMS, the agency that runs Medicare. The reporting period for the PSIs used in the Spring 2018 Safety Grades was 15 months instead of the usual 24 months due to this change from CMS, which resulted in hundreds of hospitals not meeting the minimum sample size for one or more PSIs. PSIs are a set of measures providing information on potential hospital complications and adverse events related to medical or surgical inpatient hospital care," Leapfrog added in a statement.

For more information on the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, the study's methodology, and to see how your local hospital performed, you can CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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