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Medicare recently posted nationwide hospital safety rankings on its website. In October 2014, as part of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare program began reducing Medicare payments for hospitals that rank in the worst performing quartile of  hospitals with respect to hospital-acquired conditions. For this year, 24 hospitals in Michigan will receive a reduction in payments from Medicare because they are in the lowest-performing quartile of hospitals. Examples include: foreign objects retained during surgery, air embolisms, blood incompatibility, pressure ulcers, falls, and several types of infection.

A hospital acquired condition is an undesirable situation or condition that affects a patient and that arose during a stay in a hospital.  Medicare generally considers any condition which is (1) high cost or high volume or both, and could reasonably be prevnted through the application of “evidence-based” guidelines. The Medicare scores are based on conditions patients suffered while already in hospitals, including ulcers, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and urinary-tract infections.

24 Michigan hospitals are among the bottom 25 percent in the nation for “hospital-acquired conditions.” “When a patient acquires a new infection while in the hospital, it costs taxpayers, patients and employers more money,” said Bret Jackson, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan.  “We encourage patients and caregivers to research which hospital is safest for them.  Another great source for this is the Hospital Safety Score.”

The 24 Michigan hospitals in the bottom quartile nationally are posted here.  No Lansing-area hospitals appear on the list, but several well-known Michigan hospitals do.

You can learn more about which hospitals are safest in your area by visiting http://www.hospitalsafetyscore.org/.

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