Monday February 4, 2013

I am writing in response to the letter from David Siegel, M.D. of Jan. 28 to clarify statements made about Healthgrades methodology and business practices. Healthgrades is an online resource that, for the past 15 years, has provided consumers with access to objective measures of quality to help them make informed health care decisions.

To determine the ratings and awards, Healthgrades evaluates nearly 4,500 hospitals in the U.S. on their clinical outcomes as measured by risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates across 31 of the most common conditions and procedures. We utilize three years of Medicare data, representing over 13 million patient records annually.

Our methodology for our ratings and awards are publicly available and completely transparent. All hospitals are rated -- they can’t opt in or out.

Within our site, we provide ratings information and awards on ALL hospitals evaluated. Hospitals that achieve awards do so based on their performance. The math is the sole arbiter of the ratings and award information.

If a hospital that receives an award chooses to promote this designation in other mediums outside of our site, that hospital can license award messaging.

Across the nation, there is great variation in care in hospitals -- within both large academic medical centers, as well as small community hospitals.


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We have found that while many hospitals perform well in some categories, a smaller percent perform well across a broader spectrum of conditions. These hospitals achieve Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence. Consumers should arm themselves with information on objective measures of quality to select a hospital and physician that meets their specific health care needs.

ARSHAD RAHIM, M.D.

Denver. Co.

The writer is FACP Group Vice President, Accelerated Clinical Excellence, Healthgrades.