You’re 3 Times More Likely to Die at Some Hospitals Than Others

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

9 Secret Ways to Use Toothpaste That Will Make You SmileAround The House

The 2 Types of Music That Most Improve Dog BehaviorFamily

The closest hospital might not always be your best choice, an expert notes.

Where you live can determine whether you live or die after being treated at the nearest hospital.

A new study of more than 22 million hospital admissions found that patients in hospitals ranked as low-performing based on medical outcomes were three times more likely to die — and 13 times more likely to experience complications — than patients in high-performing hospitals.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) describes the study as “the most comprehensive analysis of health outcomes variation in the United States to date.”

It was conducted by BCG and researchers from several academic and medical institutions. They analyzed 24 specific health outcomes, including illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, of hospital admissions across states where more than half of the U.S. population lives.

The findings were published this week in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study revealed large variations in hospital performance across different regions. These variations could not be fully explained by regional differences in patient demographics, health or health systems.

For example, the study found:

  • The probability of dying in the hospital after an acute event like a heart attack or stroke is more than twice as high at low-performing hospitals (defined as those in the bottom 10 percent) compared with high-performing hospitals (those in the top 10 percent).
  • Patients are nearly 20 times more likely to experience an infection of the bloodstream related to a central venous catheter at low-performing hospitals compared with high-performing hospitals. A central venous catheter, also known as simply a “central line,” is a catheter inserted into a large vein, like those found in the neck or groin, for example.

Lead study author Dr. Barry Rosenberg, a partner in BCG’s health care practice, notes:

“Americans do not fully appreciate the alarming extent of outcomes variation that exists among U.S. hospitals. If you call 911, do you want your loved one’s heart attack treated at a hospital with a 4 percent death rate or a 16 percent death rate? The closest hospital may not always be the best hospital.”

The study does not identify specific hospitals as low- or high-performing. You can use the federal government’s recently developed Hospital Compare system to review ratings of your local hospitals.

What do you make of this news? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 30 Awesome Things to Do in Retirement

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,790 more deals!