BWWMH earns three-star quality rating
Published 11:29 am Monday, August 15, 2016
Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital was given a three-star rating in the first hospital quality ratings released last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The ratings represent ratings based on one to five stars that measure such variables as quality measures for the routine care an individual receives when being treated for heart attacks and pneumonia to quality measures that focus on hospital-acquired infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, according to CMS.gov.
In all, CMS rated 3,617 hospitals across the nation. Only 102 hospitals received the top rating of five stars while 129 hospitals received just one star. Nearly half of the hospitals rated, 1,752, received a three star rating.
According to statistics on medicare.gov, BWWMH was at the national average in its measurements of readmissions national average, efficient use of medical imaging, mortality, and patient experience. The local hospital was above the national average for timeliness of care and below the national average in effectiveness of care.
“We recently received a three-star rating, the most common across the nation, as published in www.medicare.gov,” said BWWMH Marketing Director Stephanie Hoggle. “We are pleased with that initial rating, since many hospitals in the state and in our area received less than three stars. Our staff is focused on providing the compassionate care that our patients need and deserve. They are the best anywhere in doing their jobs and are constantly striving to improve.”
Among other hospitals in the area: Greene County Hospital in Eutaw and Grove Hill Memorial Hospital each earned three stars; DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa received a two-star rating; Hale County Hospital in Greensboro and Hill Hospital in York had too few measurables to be given a rating.
According to a report by Kaiser Health News, the ratings system has its share of critics.
“Hospitals cannot be rated like movies,” said Dr. Darrell Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “We are extremely concerned about the potential consequences for patients that could result from portraying an overly simplistic picture of hospital quality with a star rating system that combines many complex factors and ignores the socio-demographic factors that have a real impact on health.”
Others are advocating the system as a means of providing additional information on health systems.
“Consumers can use this trustworthy program to compare hospitals side by side,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a Washington nonprofit. “This is a huge step forward.”
Hoggle said officials at BWWMH are prepared to work with others in continuing to develop the ratings process.
“Hospitals nationwide helped develop Hospital Compare for the purpose of being transparent in these areas. The compilation and the methodology of aggregating the measures used, is still of concern and we hope to be given the opportunity to work more closely with CMS in improving upon this process,” Hoggle said.