Loretto Hospital received 3 out of 5 stars in the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating, a new quality measure by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which was recently released for the first time.
CMS rated more than 3,600 hospitals across the country on a one-to five-star scale based on 64 of the 100 measures it uses to report hospital performance on its Hospital Compare website. The consumer-oriented website is designed to help individuals, their family members, and caregivers compare how well hospitals care for patients in an easy to understand way. The new star rating summarizes data from existing quality measures including death and infection rates, readmissions, and patient experience.
With the new rating system in place, many the nation's top performing and most prestigious hospitals did not receive a 5-star rating, not even the front runners in Illinois. Of the 46 hospitals ranked within a 25-mile radius of Loretto Hospital, Loretto was one of four safety-net hospitals to receive three stars. In all, only 17 hospitals received a rating of three out of five stars, putting them in the 60th percentile and ranking them No. 28 in Illinois. Nine hospitals received a 4-star rating and only one hospital received five stars. Included in the 3-star rating category were Northwestern Memorial and the University of Chicago hospitals, both of which are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as two of the nation's highest performing hospitals, medical research and teaching facilities.
"Three stars is good….especially considering how well we compared to some of the most premier hospitals. And when I look at how proactive Loretto Hospital has been in our approach to administering quality of care to our patients by integrating more specialty services and evidence-based healthcare practices through the coordination of care, I think our strategy is working. Our patients and the Austin community is starting to take notice of all the improvements we are putting in place," said Dr. Sonia Mehta, the chief medical officer and CEO of Loretto Hospital.
In less than five years, Loretto has realized sustainable growth and improvements throughout the hospital, and created health care programs which have all worked in concert to promote its main priorities– extending excellent patient care and increasing patient satisfaction. "Enhancements such as: purchasing the latest medical technology to improve patient outcomes; modernizing our facility so that patients will receive quality care in a safe, holistic environment; and expanding our medical services and programs through the coordination of care to meet the complex needs of our patients, are part of our overall long-term strategy to offer every patient a valuable experience," Dr. Mehta said.
In addition to the 3-star rating it received from CMS, Loretto's new improvements have paid off in the form of an 'A' grade it received on its Hospital Safety Score from Leapfrog Group, another agency which rates hospitals nationwide to help consumers make better informed decisions about the type of health care they want to receive.
"Healthcare reform is giving patients more control over how they receive care. They are shopping for healthcare like consumers, and are managing their health care costs more efficiently. With the vast majority of our patients being recipients of Medicare and Medicaid, these rankings are important to us because it is a testament to our patients that we value every single person who walks through our doors seeking care regardless of their ability to pay or what type of insurance they have. Our goal moving forward is to maintain our Leapfrog 'A' grade and to achieve a 4-star or better CMS rating," Dr. Mehta concluded.
About Loretto Hospital
Loretto Hospital is a not-for-profit, community-based hospital located in Austin, the largest community in Chicago. Loretto is the only hospital in the Austin community and is the largest non-government employer in the Austin community. The hospital has more than 600 staff, comprising of 170 physicians and 300 nursing professionals. Although the largest percentage of the hospital's patients resides in Austin and Garfield Park, neighboring suburban communities also utilize Loretto as a healthcare resource. For more information, please visit www.lorettohospital.org
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