State council gives WGH clean bill of health in report

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released its 2012 Hospital Performance Report on Dec. 18, consisting of 16 reported health conditions and procedures which commonly occur but can lead to complications, re-admission and death. Warren General Hospital scored “not significantly different than expected” in every category except one, and had lower costs for 13 of the conditions.

Re-admission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients at WGH is listed as “significantly lower than expected compared to the facilities across the region.

“Warren General Hospital is proud to serve our mission of providing community health with quality and compassion. Within the PHC4 report, Warren General Hospital’s scores indicate our commitment to quality care,” said Holli Summerville, director of Patient and Public Relations.

Some the conditions/procedures include abnormal heartbeat, chest pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colorectal procedures, congestive heart failure, gallbladder removal, kidney and urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and strokes.

The PHC4 report looks at each condition/procedure from an overall hospital admission rate for adults 18 yeas of age and older. The conditions/procedures are then analyzed based upon deaths that occur due to the illness or procedure during hospitalization.

The report also reviews patients who were re-admitted to a Pennsylvania hospital for any reason within 30 days of discharge following the initial hospitalization for any of the 16 conditions and surgical procedures. While some re-admissions can be expected, the report points out that if the patient receives a high quality of care initially, the patient should not need to be re-admitted.

Pennsylvania is separated into three regions for the report, and WGH was compared to 58 hospitals in the western portion of the state, including facilities in Erie and Pittsburgh.

WGH’s cost per-patient were lower than western Pennsylvania’s averages in all but three of the 16 conditions, and for those three there was only a slight increase.

Costs per-patient in western Pennsylvania hospitals ranged from approximately nine thousand dollars to 19 thousand dollars less than the state-wide average in every category.

Mortality rates showed a statistically significant decrease in five of the 16 conditions between 2007 and 2012. Statistically significant increases were seen in two conditions, with the largest increase in congestive heart failure where the mortality rate increased from 2.6% in 2007 to 3.0% in 2012.

Medicare fee-for-service was the primary payer for 44.5% of the Pennsylvania admissions in 2011 for the conditions and procedures in the report, for a total of nearly $1.12 billion. The most recent payment data available was for calendar year 2011.