Health agency lists NCH among top-100 hospitals in the US

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Weeks after a major hospital in Southwest Florida received a negative rating by an organization that rates hospital quality, it’s making a list for top-100 best hospitals nationwide by another organization that does something similar.

NCH Healthcare System wants to ignore the D rating The Leapfrog Group gave the health service at the end of October.

Instead, NCH would rather focus on being among Healthgrades’ list for America’s “Best Hospitals for 2019,” and ranking among the top 100 in the country.

“We can recognize great teamwork and great individual performance across so many service lines that puts NCH in an elite group in America,” said Paul Hiltz, the president and CEO of NCH.

NCH makes Healthgrades’ list for top hospitals for cardiac, stroke, critical care, pulmonary gastrointestinal care, spine and prostate surgery. NCH held a ceremony that saw seven awards handed out by Healthgrades, on of the country’s largest hospital quality agencies. And there was a round of applause for doctors and hospital staff.

NCH says it has over 700 beds and takes care of over 40,000 patients every year. Hiltz said this is a good reminder for the community.

“I’ve always followed my doctors’ advice,” Hiltz said. “I think I still would recommend people talk to your doctor. Your doctors in this community really feel strongly that NCH is a high-quality healthcare system.”

Prior to these recent accolades, NCH filed a lawsuit against Leapfrog, another hospital rating organization, to try and stop the organization to try and stop it from publishing the D rating it said it planned to.

The Healthgrades listing and other previous ratings are what NCH says is true to the services at their facilities.

“This is just more validation,” Hiltz said, “This, plus the CMS 4-star rating, plus the U.S. News & World Report rating. It shows these quality rankings are complicated. But NCH is excellent health care system.”

In Leapfrog’s case, it asks hospitals to participate in its surveys. In the fall 2019 survey Leapfrog conducted about NCH, the health care system, opted not to participate.

The lawsuit case NCH brought against Leapfrog for the D rating it gave the health service is scheduled to go before a judge February 11, 2020.

Healthgrades said it evaluates hospitals by outcomes and performance on procedures and adjusts by patient risk factors.

Hiltz believes the latest awards speak for themselves when it comes to quality of care.

“I’ve dealt with these quality rankings in other parts of the country,” Hiltz said. “I’m still very confident, and I’ve looked at the data here, and the outcomes are very strong, very positive.”

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