Date: 2/1/2010

Community Hospital among Top Five Percent in Nation according to Quality Study

A new study ranks Community Hospital’s clinical quality among the top 5% in the nation for a seventh consecutive year. According to an independent study of mortality and complication rates released by HealthGrades®, the nation’s leading healthcare ratings company, Community Hospital is the only Northwest Indiana hospital to be recognized in this year’s study, and also the only hospital in the entire state to be recognized seven years in a row. The study analyzed patient outcomes at each of the nation’s 5,000 non-federal hospitals over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 and named hospitals in the top five percent as HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™.

“Improving the lives of people in this community is the top priority of our physicians, nurses and staff,” said Donald P. Fesko, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital. “As an objective third party, HealthGrades has found that we’re not only achieving our goal, but performing in elite company nationwide. I am proud of our staff and physicians who work hard to give our patients great care.”

According to the eighth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, Community Hospital and the other hospitals in the top 5% demonstrated patient outcomes that far exceeded those of other hospitals. Patients admitted to these hospitals had risk-adjusted mortality rates that were, on average, 29% lower than all other hospitals. Risk-adjusted complication rates were, on average, 9% lower than all other hospitals.

Community Hospital is one of only 269 hospitals that received this distinction from HealthGrades this year, but more importantly, is one of only 46 hospitals nationwide to sustain the achievement for seven consecutive years.

“Our data show that only a select few hospitals achieve high-quality patient outcomes not just in a few categories of care, but across the board and over time,” said Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and an author of the study. “Patients in communities with a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence should feel proud of the hospital’s accomplishments, and confident that the level of care there is among the very best in the nation.”

The study states: “Patients who choose to receive their care at a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence certainly will have a lower risk for an adverse clinical outcome relative to all other hospitals.”

As a group, Community Hospital and those identified as being in the top 5% in the nation improved their mortality rates at a faster pace than all other hospitals. Over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008, the HealthGrades study found that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence lowered their risk-adjusted mortality rates over the three years by an average of 14%, compared with a 10% average improvement of all other hospitals.

This is the eighth year that HealthGrades has independently analyzed the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in 26 procedures and diagnoses. In the study, the company reviewed approximately 40 million hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. All hospitals that participate in the Medicare program were part of the independent study. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that rank in the top 5% when all 26 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score.