Hospital Performance Report 2009 - News Release

Contact: Stephanie Suran, Communications Manager
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Harrisburg, PA - September 23, 2010 - The overall patient mortality rate for the 20 conditions consistently reported from 2002 through 2009 decreased significantly, falling from 5.1% in 2002 to 4.1% in 2009, according to the state’s annual Hospital Performance Report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4).

The overall readmission rate for the 15 conditions consistently reported during this time period increased significantly from 18.3% in 2002 to 19.2% in 2009. Yet, the overall readmission rate has plateaued in recent years as the 2009 rate of 19.2% is not significantly different from the 2004 rate of 19.0%.

“The Council commends Pennsylvania hospitals, physicians and nurses that continuously strive to improve patient care and quality outcomes,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director.

For the 21 categories for which readmissions were reported for 2009, there were 58,084 readmissions for any reason in 2009, resulting in approximately $2.6 billion in charges and 343,000 hospital days. Complications or infections were the cause of 21,688 of these readmissions, which accounted for $1.1 billion in charges and 150,000 hospital days. (Hospitals receive less in actual payments than the listed charge. Payments are generally one-fourth of charges.)

“The report illustrates the importance of preventing infections and reducing complications to every extent possible since nearly 40% of readmissions can be attributed to these causes,” said Mr. Martin.

PHC4’s Hospital Performance Report includes information about risk-adjusted mortality, readmissions, lengths of stay, and hospital charges for patients admitted to 158 Pennsylvania hospitals from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. The new report evaluates hospital performance across 31 common medical procedures and treatments. Data for additional treatment categories is available on the PHC4 website.

Other highlights:

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Copies of the free report, as well as hospital comments, can be downloaded from PHC4’s website at