A new and controversial study by Consumer Reports ranks hospitals based on how well patients do during and after surgery.
For the first time Consumer Reports is rating hospitals on how patients fare during and after surgery, and some of the country's most prestigious hospitals didn't fare as well as you might expect. Some of the biggest surprises - Johns Hopkins, Bay View Medical Center in Baltimore, one of the Mayo Clinic's locations and the Cleveland Clinic.
"The most important finding is that big name hospitals don't always perform better than your name hospitals that you don't recognize," Dr. Doris Peter said. She's the associate director of Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.
The top rated are some of the least well known - like Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
Consumer Reports worked with a health care consulting firm to analyze billing claims and records involving 27 categories of commonly scheduled surgeries at more than 2400 hospitals. The surgery ratings are based on the percentage of the hospitals "Medicare" patients who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected for their procedure.
"This will give an indication if the patient either died or stayed longer than expected for their procedure that suggested something went wrong," Peter said.
Consumer Reports says it wanted to give patients a better idea of hospital quality.
"I'm a little concern about with some of these ratings," ABC News Chief Health & Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said. "The hospitals they rated poorly some of them are taking care of the most complex patients out there and clearly I expect that people in those hospitals would be staying a little longer than people in community hospitals."
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