Berkshire Medical Center earns Top 100 Hospital rating


PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire Medical Center has been selected as one of the country's top 100 hospitals by a Michigan-based organization that uses independent and objective research to track hospital and health system performance.

BMC is listed as one of the top 25 teaching hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics, which has been conducting this study annually since 1993 (the project was originally known as the Thompson Reuters Top 100 Hospital Recognition).

"Being on this list is something that has been a goal of the organization and the board of directors for almost a decade," said BMC's COO Diane Kelly. "It means really that we are fulfilling our obligation to the community."

Truven's top 100 hospitals are listed in five different categories. BMC was listed in the teaching hospitals category because it has both interns and residents, said Jean Chenoweth, a senior vice president at Truven who oversees the top 100 hospitals program.

This is the first time that BMC has ever made the list in any category. Hospitals do not apply to be on the list.

BMC's surgery residency program recently lost its accreditation, although the matter is under appeal. Kelly said the surgery residency program was cited for programmatic or procedural violations, while Truven's list is based on a hospital's quality of clinical care.

Truven considers 10 factors in its assessment of hospital performance.

Those factors include mortality, inpatient complications, patient safety, average patient stay, expenses, profitability, patient satisfaction, adherence to clinical standards of care, and post-discharge mortality and re-admission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure and pneumonia.

"If they closed their cardiac unit, that would matter because that would have to do with direct patient care," Chenoweth said.

Truven's most recent top 100 hospitals list is also based on 2011 and 2012 data, Chenoweth said. The surgery residency program lost its accreditation last year.

Truven researchers evaluated data from 2,083 short-term, acute-care and nonfederal hospitals. Their rankings are based on public information that includes Medicare cost reports, Medicare provider analysis and core measures data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website.

BMC's cost per case has been reduced by nearly 24 percent since 2008, and is 9 percent lower than the median in BMC's peer group of comparable hospitals.

David Phelps, the president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, BMC's parent company, attributed the honor to a team effort.

"Berkshire Health Systems, led by our board of trustees, established a goal several years ago of attaining to 100 Hospital status," Phelps said in a statement, "and I am proud of our entire staff, including our dedicated physicians, clinicians and support staff for their consistent commitment to excellence."

Massachusetts is the only state in New England to have hospitals listed in any category in the top 100 list.

Baystate Medical Center of Springfield and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington were listed in the major teaching hospitals category; Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester also made the teaching hospitals category; and Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton was listed among large community hospitals.

Major teaching hospitals are those with academic credentials, which BMC does not have.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:

(413) 496-6224


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