HealthGrades is taking the authors of a recent study to task, arguing that their research, which found fault with surgical-quality ratings systems, was fundamentally flawed.
HealthGrades criticizes ratings-system study
The study appeared in the May issue of the Archives of Surgery. Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed Medicare data to determine whether hospitals that are deemed top performers by Denver-based HealthGrades and U.S. News & World Report actually have lower mortality rates for cancer surgeries.
They concluded that while such rating systems did identify some top hospitals, they failed to identify others.
But in a May 19 news release, HealthGrades fired back, arguing that the Archives of Surgery study’s patient sample size was too small. In addition, HealthGrades said, the study incorrectly compared outcomes for three cancer-related surgeries to outcomes for the wide range of conditions that are used to determine HealthGrades’ “Best Hospitals” status.
“While we're encouraged by the study authors' attempts to help patients find accurate quality information, in this case this study may have the opposite effect and might actually discourage patients from getting the information they need to make critically important health care decisions,” Dr. Rick May, HealthGrades vice president of accelerated clinical excellence, said in the release.
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