Date: 10/13/2009

Community Healthcare System Hospitals receive 5-Star ratings across Multiple Service Lines

Ratings Based on Study of Patient Outcomes at the Nation’s Hospitals by HealthGrades

HealthGrades®, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, today has announced that the hospitals of Community Healthcare System are recipients of top 5-star ratings for the quality of several patient care service lines. Some of these ratings place the quality performance of these area hospitals as among the best in the country.

“These ratings are a confirmation of our ongoing commitment to excellence, and that the quality of care provided by our hospitals measures up to the top hospitals in the country,” said John Gorski, Chief Operating Officer for Community Healthcare System which includes Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. “It takes all of us working together to deliver the kind of care we all would want for our own families.”

The recognition is based on HealthGrades’ twelfth annual Hospital Quality in America study, released today, which analyzes patient outcomes at virtually all of the nation’s hospitals. According to the HealthGrades study, a person has on average a 72 percent lower chance of dying at the nation’s top-rated hospitals, compared with the lowest-rated hospitals. The study, the largest of its kind, examines more than 40 million Medicare Hospitalization records from 2006 to 2008.

The hospitals of the Community Healthcare System have received a number of five-star ratings from HealthGrades, in addition to achieving some of its highest honors — national rankings for overall performance across several procedures. The most notable of these honors is the designation of Community Hospital as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for overall care two years in a row, 2008 and 2009; St. Catherine Hospital’s Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™, ranking it among the Top 5% in the nation for overall care three years in a row, 2006 through 2008; and St. Mary Medical Center’s Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety™ ranking it among the Top 5% in the nation for patient safety four years in a row, 2005 through 2008.

In this year’s study, Community Hospital in Munster not only ranks as the number one hospital in Indiana for overall pulmonary services and vascular surgery, the hospital also ranks among the top five percent nationwide for those specialties and GI services, orthopedic surgery, and stroke care. Community Hospital has received HealthGrades 5-star ratings across the following diagnoses and procedures: treatment of heart failure, stroke, pneumonia, COPD, sepsis, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, GI bleed, bowel obstruction, gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy), carotid surgery, repair of abdominal aorta surgery, total knee replacement, total hip replacement, hip fracture repair, spinal fusion surgery, and prostatectomy surgery.

St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago has received the highest ratings of Northwest Indiana region hospitals for overall cardiac services. In addition, St. Catherine Hospital has received HealthGrades 5-star ratings for the following diagnoses: heart failure, COPD, sepsis, and GI bleed.

“When our hospitals came together eight years ago as Community Healthcare System, we pledged to raise the quality of health care and patient safety in Northwest Indiana,” said Gorski. “These awards and other recognition we’ve received — the Chanute Prize for team innovation and Thomson-Reuters’ quality/efficiency performance honors, among others - are a validation of our efforts to adopt the best practices in medicine.”

HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 28 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons.

The new 2010 HealthGrades hospital ratings have been posted at, HealthGrades’ public Web site. More information on the HealthGrades study, including the complete methodology, can be found at

For more information about the services and programs offered by the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit our Web site at

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