Teaching Hospitals Have Higher Risk of Complications


According to Medicare’s first public evaluation of hospitals’ records on patient safety, patients are at a heightened risk for preventable conditions when going to teaching hospitals in America.

The Medicare program found that Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University Hospital, and the Cleveland Clinic were some of the institutions having more complications than average, according to an article from The Washington Post.

The Medicare reimbursement to the hospitals are based on a number of things, some including readmission rates, how patients rate their stays, mortality rates, and how closely hospitals are following guidelines for patient care.

Medicare covers 47 million seniors and disabled people. The administration believes that adding these financial incentives will encourage hospitals to improve their treatments.

Complication Rates 10 Times Higher

According to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the data, teaching hospitals are nearly 10 times more likely than other hospitals to have higher complication rates.

The complications that Medicare looks at include blood clots after surgery, bedsores, punctured lungs, catheter and bloodstream infections, and accidental cuts and tears. By looking at these, Medicare calculates each hospital’s rate of complications.

Consumers are now able to visit the Hospital Compare website where Medicare has published its findings.

Out of the 3,330 hospitals that were rated, 190 were identified as having very high levels of complications; 82 were major teaching hospitals.

Date: April 17, 2014

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