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How CMS Makes Quality Data Public While Still Keeping It Secret

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 26, 2013

To pair the data with the hospital's name, you have to know how to insert that Provider ID into a Hospital Compare URL, which you would do after selecting any hospital and substituting the six-digit sequence after "ID=" in the url.

Or you can call up another memory-intense website database from Medicare and crosswalk that information back and forth, back and forth. Are you dizzy yet?

After doing all that, plus exporting the files into sortable spreadsheets, one can learn, for example, that Lakeway Regional Medical Center in Lakeway, TX, had the highest rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, 15.873 per 1,000 patient discharges. That was more than double the rate at Brigham City Community Hospital in Brigham City, UT, which had the next highest, 6.042.

For foreign objects left inside surgical patients, Pine Creek Medical Center LLP in Dallastopped the list with 2.577 items per 1,000 patient discharges. Next was Houston Orthopedic and Spine Hospital in Bellaire, TX, with 1.362 per 1,000 discharges.

And serious pressure ulcers were most common at Bibb Medical Center in Centreville, AL, with 3.546 per 1,000 patient discharges, followed by Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA, which had 3.3 per 1,000 patient discharges.

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