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New Report Ranks Washington Hospitals on Quality, Patient Experience, and Cost

  • First report in the state to publicly report on all three elements of hospital value
  • Findings show that higher cost does not necessarily mean higher quality care

SEATTLE, May 22, 2018 – The Washington Health Alliance today released the first report in the state to publicly combine scores on quality, patient experience, and cost for Washington hospitals. Ranking these three elements allows the public and health care stakeholders to view the extraordinary pattern of variation in hospital value across Washington state.

The Hospital Value Report ranks 48 hospitals in Washington and challenges the popular belief that higher prices always translate into better care and outcomes.

“When considering where to go for health care, you may actually get better quality at a lower-cost hospital,” said Nancy Giunto, executive director of the Washington Health Alliance. “In fact, the majority of hospitals that have a high quality ranking also rank below average in cost. This is an important finding in the report and a critical message for health care consumers in Washington: Higher quality does not have to cost more.”

When ranked by quality, the three highest scoring hospitals in the report are:

  • Evergreen Medical Center, Kirkland
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle
  • Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, Vancouver

The report looked at 13 indicators that measure health care quality, comprised of mortality rates and patient safety indicators, developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). For patient experience, the report uses patient-reported ratings from the most widely used hospital patient experience survey – the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

And finally, the Alliance uses publicly available, hospital-specific data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to look at the amount of money each hospital charged for the services they provided to Medicare beneficiaries for inpatient stays (FY 2015). Known as gross charges (or list prices), these are a hospital’s official price for every billable item and service provided to patients, prior to considering insurance coverage, which typically includes negotiated discounts for public and private insurers.

“We encourage employers and other health care purchasers to use this report to begin identifying higher-performing delivery systems and engage in related discussions with providers and health insurers,” Giunto said. “For health care providers, these results can help them build stronger value-based business cases for their buyers and may point to areas where improvement efforts are needed.”

The online “Highlight” of the report allows users to compare any two hospitals in the report on quality, patient experience, and cost. Consumers should be aware that the costs factored into the report do not take into account their individual medical insurance and benefits, so they should still check with their health plan or provider prior to deciding on where to go for care.

About the Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington State’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance’s work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

For media:

Email: contactus@wahealthalliance.org
Phone: 206.448.2570

Published: May 22, 2018

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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