LETTER FROM MODERN HEALTHCARE
Reports look at performance, disparities
Comparing the connection between clinical and financial performance and system membership yields interesting results.
Swim with a friend. Never go hiking alone. There’s safety in numbers. Travel with a group. All are expressions we’ve heard since our parents thought we were old enough to understand. What we didn’t know then was that the same principles apply in healthcare delivery. Welcome to our 12th annual 100 Top Hospitals supplement where each year we attempt to answer the question: What do high-performing hospitals do differently than lesser-performing hospitals? In previous supplements, we’ve looked at such variables as patient-safety strategies, new medical technologies, specific clinical practices, nurse-staffing ratios, the use of hospitalists, labor costs, avoidable medical errors, patient-satisfaction scores, ownership status and resource consumption.
For this issue, Truven Health Analytics, which puts together the annual list of 100 Top Hospitals, conducted an exclusive study at Modern Healthcare’s request on the connection between clinical and financial performance and system membership. (Truven Health Analytics is the new name for Thomson Reuters’ healthcare unit, which was bought by Veritas Capital.) Truven’s researchers compared more than 1,600 system hospitals with almost 1,200 independent hospitals on 10 performance measures. We won’t give away the findings in this introduction, but let’s just say your parents were right. They always are.
A second piece of exclusive research reported in this supplement, however, does buck conventional wisdom. With healthcare disparities and readmission rates being two of the hottest topics in the industry, researchers compared the 30-day mortality and 30-day readmission rates of white patients and minority patients. Turns out, minorities have a lower mortality rate but a higher readmission rate. Read on to learn why.
Modern Healthcare reporter Beth Kutscher wrote the lead story on the system performance study. You can reach her at bkutscher@ modernhealthcare.com. Former Modern Healthcare reporter and frequent contributor Linda Wilson wrote the secondary feature on the race study. You can reach Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank them both for a job well done.
Also in this supplement are this year’s 15 Top Health Systems list from Truven as well as the firm’s 100 Top Hospitals list. The lists originally appeared in the Jan. 16 and April 16 issues of Modern Healthcare, respectively. You can also download both lists at modernhealthcare.com/data.
Separately, you can listen to a rebroadcast or download a transcript of our April 24 editorial webcast on the pros and cons of system membership at modernhealthcare.com/webcasts. The webcast features three top health systems identified by Truven.
If you have any questions or comments on the supplement or would like to suggest topics for future analysis, please contact me at 312-6495439 or email@example.com.