By Emma Kennedy, The News-Enterprise
Hardin Memorial Hospital has ranked in the top 25 percent of hospitals nationwide under one of its major reimbursement sources.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released quality ratings for 4,599 hospitals across the country based on categories such as mortality, readmissions, patient experience and effectiveness of care.
The hospitals each received a star rating with five stars being the highest. HMH received a four-star rating. A five-star rating was given to 2.2 percent of hospitals assessed, and 20.3 percent garnered a four-star rating.
According to an HMH news release, Kentucky had 82 hospitals rated with 16 earning four stars and none receiving five.
HMH CEO Dennis Johnson said it’s always great to be ranked among the top hospitals, but it means even more when it comes from a certifiable source such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which provides reimbursement for some of HMH’s patients.
This is the first time the rankings have been released based on 64 quality measures across seven categories, with rankings coming from an algorithm based on hospital inpatient and outpatient quality reporting programs.
Much of the data is collected through claims data, but some is submitted by HMH.
Johnson said in his tenure with HMH, the facility has been focused on increasing community satisfaction with the hospital, which in turn increases patient numbers and capital to be spent on hospital improvements.
“Everything we’re trying to do here is really a culture change. When I came here five years ago, we were really a safety net hospital,” Johnson said. “We were seeing the Medicare and the Medicaids, but by and large, if you were a commercial paid patient, you were more than likely seeking care in Louisville, with the notable exception of our emergency department.”
Johnson said what followed was a reforming of the hospital’s strategic plan, including patient surveys about why they would choose to seek care elsewhere over HMH.
The majority of responses, according to Johnson, were perceptions about physicians and facilities at HMH.
“That became our strategic plan: recruiting top docs, trying to get our facilities up to speed and then service,” he said.
Johnson said the ranking data is based on all-payer data, not just Medicare and Medicaid patients, but the reimbursement rates the hospital receives as a result of the ranking are a result of Medicare and Medicaid patient numbers.
“We’ve long known our hospital is providing care that is as high-quality as any hospital in the country,” Johnson said. “This ranking validates that. It speaks volumes about the quality and breadth of care our physicians, nurses and medical team provides.”