Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Health Tip of the Week: October 26, 2009

Hospital Ratings Play Huge Role in Mortality Survey and Study in Quality of Care

Oftentimes in the health care marketplace we hold preconceived notions about where we should go to receive the highest quality of care. According to a Boston Business Journal article, despite the reputation of Massachusetts' health care providers, you may want to think twice about where you go to receive care. Health Grades, Inc., a third party hospital rating company recently released some reports indicating that the overall performance of Massachusetts' hospitals is only so-so in comparison to a national spectrum. Health Grades released a list of the top 50 hospitals in America and Massachusetts did not have a single hospital included on this list.

Health Grades evaluates hospitals on a five-star basis with five stars being a recognition of the overall performance falling in the top 15% of all hospitals nationwide (Harden, Boston Business Journal). "Patients have a 71.6 percent lower risk of dying at a five-star hospital than at a one-star facility" (Harden, Boston Business Journal). With a peek at this difference it is hard to evaluate a provider based on reputation without doing our own research and making an educated decision as a health care consumer.

In terms of the national average of overall performance, "7.9 percent of Massachusetts' hospitals received five-star ratings on overall performance, versus 15 percent nationwide" (Harden, Boston Business Journal). Particularly as a Massachusetts resident, this raises concerns as to what we are really receiving for care versus what we believe we are receiving.

For this particular reason, AMF's domestic medical travel plan "U.S. Health Options" is a smart decision for an employer. Our Customer Care Coordinator bases their decisions about where to send a patient for certain elective surgical procedures on third party assessment, including Health Grades. With the combination of the best possible care, coupled with the cost savings provided, as well as the maintaining of benefits and financial incentives for employees, there is no better time to explore the opportunity of group medical travel plans for self funded employers. The flexibility in the development of the plan is truly tailored to the employer's/group's needs.

email us to learn more - mmckelvey@amfrms.com

Learn more about U.S. Health Options here.

Read full Boston Business Journal Article here.

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