Springfield hospitals receive national ratings: Mercy gets 4 stars, Cox gets 1

Mercy Hospital in Springfield.
Mercy Hospital in Springfield.(KY3)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - New national ratings show how hospitals in Springfield stack up.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its 2021 ratings for hospitals across the county. Locally, Mercy Hospital scored four stars while Cox South received only one star.

The 2021 ratings by CMS analyze more than 100 quality measures, which are then divided into 5 groups: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care.

”[There are] a lot of different factors that come in there,” President of Mercy Springfield Communities Craig McCoy said on Wednesday. “A lot of it really is outcomes of care. Everything from hospital acquired conditions to other infections. Things of that nature.”

McCoy said the results serve as “outside validation” of Mercy’s care.

”We’ve got a dedicated group that’s constantly focused on refining our processes and working on consistency of outcomes,” he said. “We will always chase perfection in this.”

McCoy said Mercy’s recent rating is good news for the hospital, but said there is always room for improvement.

“We’re happy, but we’re not satisfied,” McCoy said. ”There are a couple of factors that it comes down to. One is the patient experience. And that is a constant push that we have. How we’re effectively communicating around all aspects of care, making sure that everybody is fully informed.”

McCoy said the high ratings amid the pandemic also display the hospital’s commitment.

“Our commitment to our community and our commitment to our patients,” he said. “Our continual focus on quality while, you know, people did not lose focus of what they are here for. Yes COVID was a huge focus, there were still surgeries taking place. There were still babies being delivered. There were still a lot of other things non-COVID-related.”

On the other side of National Avenue, CoxHealth officials said the CMS star rating system is “deeply flawed” and “needs to be fixed.”

CoxHealth officials said a recent study by researchers from Northwestern Medicine, The Council of Medical Specialties, University of Michigan and Washington University gave the rating system its very own grade of C.

The hospital did not do an on-camera interview, but did send KY3 a detailed statement.

”In our experience, the rating system tends to favor smaller hospitals, with less vulnerable and less acute patients, or systems that have learned to optimize their documentation process,” the statement read. “It is not a reliable measure of quality.”

”Large medical centers often rank worse on star ratings than smaller hospitals because of complexities tied to patients for whom they routinely provide care,” the statement continued. ”We are concerned that community members will see this number and think that it reflects the quality of patient care at Cox South, which we strongly believe is not the case. Our patient outcomes testify to the quality of the care offered at our facilities, and we take pride in those changed lives rather than a simple star rating.”

Cox Branson and Cox Monett each received a four-star rating. Mercy Lebanon also received 4 stars. Four hospitals in Arkansas received 5 stars and 7 in Missouri did.

According to CMS, 204 hospitals received a one-star rating, 690 hospitals received a two-star rating, 1,018 hospitals received a three-star rating, 988 received a four-star rating, 455 received a five-star rating.

See the entire list here:

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