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Connecticut Hospitals Rate Second from Bottom in Nation

Written by Berkowitz

Based upon two measures of quality of care in the nation’s hospitals, those in Connecticut were ranked second to last. The ratings were determined by assessing quality of care parameters and by how much Medicare money the hospital lost as a result of its low scores. Only the District of Columbia was lower. The ratings were done by Medicare’s Value-Based Purchasing Program, which was started in September 2012. It was begun under the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. The purpose of the program was to reward hospitals on a number of factors, including patient satisfaction, plus a total of 12 measures of quality of patient treatment including care for:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Proper use of pre- and post-surgical antibiotics for infection
  • Measurement of blood glucose levels after surgery

Patient satisfaction was evaluated on doctor and nurse communication with patients, cleanliness, quietness and numerous other measures. The evaluation system either meted out penalties or awarded incentives to the hospitals. The purpose of the program was to improve quality of care at hospitals while reducing costs. In addition to scoring poorly, 23 hospitals lost Medicare funding due to a high readmittance rate within 30 days of a patient’s hospital stay. In total, four Connecticut hospitals were cut by the maximum amount allowable. The four were:

  • Griffin Hospital in Derby
  • The Hospital of St. Raphael, which today is part of Yale-New Haven
  • The Masonic Home and Hospital in Wallingford
  • Mid-State Medical Center in Meriden

In contrast, a number of hospitals scored well. These were:

  • Middlesex Hospital in Middletown (received a .13 bonus on quality measures and no penalties for readmissions)
  • Bridgeport, Danbury and St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury also obtained bonuses for quality

Seven hospitals were not penalized for readmission of patients. These were:

  • Middlesex
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital
  • Rockville General Hospital
  • Sharon Hospital
  • William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich
  • Wyndham Hospital

In addition to these seven, the Hebrew Home and Hospital in West Hartford, although not part of the value-based payment program, also was not penalized for readmissions. If one looked at a combination of quality parameters plus readmissions, those that fared worst were Yale-New Haven (which lost 1.25 percent of its Medicare reimbursements, Johnson Memorial in Stafford Springs (had a 1.16 percent reimbursement decline), and St. Raphael’s (lost 1.12 percent of Medicare reimbursements). Those states scoring the best on payment for quality were Maine, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. For more information contact the Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers of Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.