California Hospitals Ranked on Surgery Care by Consumer Reports

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Emergency room ambulance entrance at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / October 18, 2012)

LOS ANGELES — Consumer Reports issued a new ratings guide Wednesday showing how hospitals across California and the U.S. do in caring for patients during and after surgeries.

Two Los Angeles area hospitals – Centinela Hospital Medical Center and St. John’s Health – earned the highest rating overall. Citrus Valley Medical Center’s Inter-Community Campus, Huntington Memorial Hospital and Northridge Hospital Medical Center-Roscoe Boulevard Campus earned the lowest.

The ratings of nearly 2,500 hospitals are based on an analysis of Medicare billing claims from 2009 to 2011. They cover 27 different categories of surgeries, including hip replacement and back operations. According to Consumer Reports, up to 30% of patients suffer infections, heart attacks or strokes after surgery.

The new report gives patients more information about surgery safety and enables them to make more informed choices about care, according to Consumer Reports.  “We hope that by highlighting performance differences, we can motivate hospitals to improve,” John Santa, medical director of Consumer Reports Health, said in a statement.

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