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Thursday, December 15, 2016

OA: Quantifying Geographic Variation in Health Care Outcomes in the United States



open access (report)
 Quantifying Geographic Variation in Health Care Outcomes in the United States before and after Risk-Adjustment December 14, 2016

medical news (STAT)
December 15, 2016

Just in: Wide quality gap found at US hospitals 

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A landmark study reports that patients in the worst hospitals are three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to experience complications than in the best.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE,  is the first to compare hospital performance in treating a range of medical problems. It finds that patients at low-performing hospitals are more than twice as likely to die after an acute event like a heart attack or stroke, and are nearly 20 times more likely to experience a central line infection.

The report offered at least one surprise: Some of the highest performers served mostly low-income, minority patients, while some poor performers operated in largely white, high-income areas, STAT's Bob Tedeschi tells us.

But the study omits the detail most critical to patients: hospital names. It was based on the records of more than 22 million patients who got care in 18 states in 2011, but some details were subject to a confidentiality agreement. Researchers are hoping the study will prompt hospitals to publicly disclose more of their performance data, so patients can make better choices.
 

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