Report finds Hospital Compare website leaves out sickest patients

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 8, 2010

Quality rankings on The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) consumer website, Hospital Compare, may not reflect care for the sickest of patients, according to a study published in the November 2010 American Heart Journal.

The rules for reporting currently require hospitals to report care-based on whether standard and proven care is given for certain symptoms, such as giving aspirin to a patient with a heart attack. However, other medical conditions in addition to a heart attack could make standard treatments incorrect, and therefore these patients are excluded from reports to CMS. The number of patients between 2000 and 2001 who were excluded on this basis was between a quarter and more than two-thirds, reports MSNBC.

Read the American Heart Journal study.