3 States Without Any Top-Rated Hospitals

Surgeons working in a hospital operating room
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Nobody likes to get sick, especially in the age of the coronavirus, but it’s especially bad to fall into ill health in Alaska, North Dakota or South Dakota.

Those are the only three states in the nation that do not have any A-rated hospitals, according to the Leapfrog Group’s fall 2020 Hospital Safety Grade report. However, West Virginia is not far behind them, with fewer than 5% of its hospitals earning an A.

The Leapfrog Group bills itself as a nonprofit organization “driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.”

The group issues hospital safety grades twice a year, assigning a letter of A, B, C, D or F to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. These ratings reflect how well hospitals guard against preventative errors, accidents, injuries and infections — information that the Leapfrog Group hopes will help consumers make informed decisions.

The data that informs the ratings primarily comes from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This data does not yet reflect the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Leapfrog Group notes that it “offers an indication of how well hospitals implemented fundamental safety precautions prior to the pandemic, an important factor in preparedness.”

In the latest Hospital Safety Grade report, the most common rating was a C — followed closely by the rating of A:

  • A — 34% of hospitals received this rating
  • B — 24% (up from 26%)
  • C — 35%
  • D — 7%
  • F — less than 1%

The states with the largest shares of A-rated hospitals are:

  1. Maine — 62.5% of hospitals are A-rated
  2. Idaho — 58.33%
  3. Delaware — 57.14%
  4. Massachusetts — 56.9%
  5. Oregon — 54.84%
  6. Virginia — 52.94%
  7. North Carolina — 51.85%
  8. Vermont — 50%
  9. Colorado — 47.62%
  10. Pennsylvania — 47.11%

The Leapfrog Group also notes that 29 hospitals have received a grade of A in every Hospital Safety Grade report since the first was issued in spring 2012. President and CEO Leah Binder adds:

“We see in the news every day the extraordinary courage of clinicians and staff caring for patients stricken by COVID-19. What’s less apparent—yet equally laudable—are the untold efforts behind the scenes to protect patients. Hospitals’ commitment to the fundamentals have saved lives too, like preventing infection, ensuring universal hand hygiene, and double and triple checking everything to avoid errors.”

To look up the grades of hospitals in your area, visit the Leapfrog Group’s website.

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