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Consumer Reports Ranks Hospitals Across the Country for Surgical Safety for Medicare Patients

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Consumer Reports Ranks Sparrow “Poor”

Many consumers rely on Consumer Reports to get ratings for cars, appliances, electronics and many other items they may purchase.  But what about using Consumer Reports to choose the best healthcare?  Apparently, that’s the way of the future and it isn’t looking too good for many Mid-Michigan hospitals.  Consumer Reports recently came out with its first ever “surgery-safety survival guide” and while some hospitals in the area did well, others didn’t.

St. Joseph Mercy Ranked “Excellent”, Others “Average” and Below

According to the the new report, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Howell was ranked “excellent”, McLaren was ranked “average”, and Sparrow was ranked “poor” in terms of surgical safety.  The scores are based off the percentage of patients aged 65 or older who stayed at the hospital longer than expected or died following surgery.  The data were derived from billing claims submitted between 2009 and 2011 and compares thousands of hospitals from across the country.  Consumer Reports says that up to 30% of Medicare patients experience avoidable complications following surgery.

Sparrow’s Executive Director Responds to Poor Ranking

Sparrow’s Executive Director of Strategic Market Development, John Berg, recently responded to Consumer Reports’ rankings of the hospital.  He stated: “Being fully transparent, there’s a lot of areas Sparrow has to work on. We work daily trying to improve quality, but that being said we take pride in a lot of our rankings at Hospital Compare and the progress we’ve made.”  To be fair, other large and well-known hospitals in other areas of the country also did not score well, including satellite campuses of John Hopkins, and the Mayo Clinics.  Furthermore, although Consumer Reports claims the data is the best, most comprehensive available to date, some hospital officials are arguing that the data fails to take into account patient’s clinical data and doesn’t include external factors that could also delay hospital stays.  You can take a full look at the report here for all states.