Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 27, 2013

Community heart attack care nationally ranked

Medicare study gives hospital a 5-Star rating.

Community Howard Regional Health has received 5 stars for quality in the treatment of heart attack and heart failure in 2013, according to a press release. This is the second year Community Howard has achieved this recognition.

This achievement is part of new findings released today in American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, which evaluates hospital performance at over 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions. Healthgrades is the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.

According to the report, from 2010 to 2012, patients treated for heart attack in hospitals with 5 stars for in-hospital mortality, have on average a 48.1 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals with 1 star for in-hospital mortality.

Similarly, patients treated for heart attack in hospitals with 1 star for in-hospital mortality are on average 1.9 times more likely to die than if they were treated in hospitals with 5 stars for in-hospital mortality.

“We are extremely pleased to have received this recognition,” James P. Alender, president and CEO of Community Howard, said in the release.

“We work very hard to provide exceptional quality care and are extremely proud of our cardiology services. In addition to the Healthgrades recognition, we are accredited as a chest pain center with PCI [angioplasty], which means that we have acknowledged processes in place right here in Kokomo to provide the best heart care possible.”

Earlier this year, Community Howard was also recognized by Healthgrades as being among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for patient safety.

“As American policymakers focus more intently on ways to lower health care costs and improve quality, patients are being asked to assume more responsibility for their health care decisions — from selection of their health plan to the associated network of physicians and hospitals,”said Evan Marks of Healthgrades.

“Since all hospitals do not perform equally in all procedures, patients can have confidence that by selecting a physician associated with a hospital with 5 star performance for a specific procedure or condition they can potentially improve outcomes and reduce costs.”

For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare-patient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, assessing hospital performance relative to each of 31 common conditions and procedures.

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