The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Management have just released a startling study of death rates in our nations’ hospitals and Georgia hospitals didn’t fare so well. Nine Georgia hospitals rated worse than national norms on death rates for pneumonia or heart failure — a higher number than all states but California. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution this morning published a telling chart showing the dismal performance of our Georgia Hospitals. The good news for Georgia citizens is that now, when you may have a choice, you can access this study to help you make a better-informed decision about in which hospital you should have a medical procedure performed. You may access the hospital ratings here. As medical consumers, it’s the first time consumers are able to compare hospital death rates for patients admitted for three conditions: pneumonia, heart failure and heart attack.
This is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. Hopefully, one day we Georgians might be able to have available a hospital’s infection rate, which is a secret many Georgia hospitals have been hiding for years. These are numbers the individual hospitals have and know, but don’t discose to the public. It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that hospitals are worried about having to disclose infection rates, because the number would be terrifying to the general public. But if Georgia Consumers want real power in making decision about which Georgia hospitals to go to, we need to know a hospital’s infection rates.