For consumers of medical services, which is all of us, the way we approach purchasing health care is very different from the way we think about purchasing, say, a home, car or electric razor. For the average person, it is very difficult to make any kind of objective judgment about the quality of medical care at any given facility as compared to services offered at other facilities. Most of what we have to go on are anecdotal reviews, which is of limited benefit.
The situation is something that some groups have been trying to change in recent years. One such effort, by The Leapfrog Group, is to routinely rate hospitals and clinics in terms of their safety performance. The idea is to provide consumers with information to help them make more informed decisions. In its latest round of reviews, Leapfrog rated 79 Michigan hospitals, giving 23 of them an “A” rating. A total of 26 facilities received “B” ratings, 24 received “C” ratings, and a total of six received a “D” rating.
Sources didn’t detail the factors The Leapfrog Group takes into consideration when rating medical facilities, other than to say that they are based on data gathered from CMS Hospital Compare, the American Hospital Association, and its annual survey. The group’s rating efforts have been criticized, though, for its limited scope: only a little over half of the hospitals in the United States participate in the survey.
Medical error, of course, is a daily reality in the medical industry, with some errors costing patients a great deal in terms of injuries and other damages. Providing patients the ability to screen out poor healthcare providers is certainly a worthwhile effort. Those who have been subjected to poor medical care can and should consult with an experienced attorney to determine their options for recovery, including medical malpractice litigation.
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business, “Leapfrog quality group gives ‘A’ rating to 23 Michigan hospitals,” Jay Greene, Oct. 29, 2014.