California is among the states that scored highest for hospital care related to conditions and treatments commonly linked to mortality, according to a report released by Healthgrades, USA Today reports.
Details of the Report
The report ranked states and individual hospitals based on data released by CMS between 2005 and 2011.
Researchers examined data on 4,500 hospitals nationwide, focusing on four key conditions and procedures commonly linked to mortality:
- Coronary artery bypass graft;
- Heart attack;
- Pneumonia; and
The four conditions and procedures account for 54% of all hospital-related deaths in the U.S.
According to the report, states with hospitals that provided the best care for those conditions and procedures were:
- Illinois; and
States and areas with hospitals that provided the worst care related to those conditions and procedures were:
- Washington, D.C.; and
- West Virginia.
According to the report, patients had a 55% lower risk of dying and a 42% lower risk of having complications when treated in the best hospitals.
Evan Marks -- a lead author of the study -- said that the differences in hospital quality in various states are "substantial."
Researchers also found that the quality of care can vary widely among hospitals within a single state.
Nancy Foster -- vice president of quality and patient safety policy for the American Hospital Association -- said that individuals also need to know how factors not accounted for in the study affect health outcomes.
She said, "People come to [hospitals] ... far sicker if they're from a low income area," adding, "They might have multiple complications" and "might struggle to find healthy food" or "a safe place to exercise." She said, "All are important components of good health outcomes" (Lloyd, USA Today, 10/23).