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Dawning of the Age of Mortality Transparency

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 6, 2011

He adds that any hospital with a "worse" score, or which is unhappy with average scores, should first "look to the physicians practicing in that area of care. If a hospital has a high mortality rate for craniotomy, well you might want to look to see who the neurosurgeons are on staff. There's no secret that I would not go to certain hospitals (for surgery) not because of the hospital itself, but because of the members of its surgical staff."

After all, Lott says, payers are looking at reputation as well as the hospital's cost. "At the end of the day, they're looking at network placement and price. And the bottom line is if the hospital has a bad reputation, they'll pay attention to that and ask, do I need this hospital in my network?" he says.

Yes, this is the dawning of the age of mortality transparency. And as the lyrics from the 1969 song say, "Let the sun shine in."

California's report may be seen here.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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