Death Rates in US Hospitals Much Improved

Death Rates in US Hospitals Much Improved

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The largest annual study of hospital quality in America, issued this week by HealthGrades, finds death rates among Medicare patients continue to decline. The nation’s average in-hospital mortality rate improved, on average, 7.89 percent from 2003 to 2005. The degree of improvement varied widely by procedure. For instance, your risk of dying from Pneumonia improved 17.23 percent; from Coronary Bypass Surgery, 13.59 percent; and from Pancreatitis, 24.72 percent…


The ninth annual Hospital Quality in America Study examined a staggering 41 million hospitalization records over three years for Medicare patients at more than 5,000 hospitals.

HealthGrades seeks to rate the quality of care at each nonfederal hospital to help consumers compare the quality of local hospitals. The ratings are posted free of charge on its consumer Web site,

Much improved mortality rates were recorded for the following procedures and diagnoses:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair 9.20%
Acute Myocardial Infarction 4.47%
Atrial Fibrillation 13.56%
Bowel Obstruction 12.51%
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 9.14%
Community Acquired Pneumonia 17.23%
Coronary Bypass Surgery 13.59%
Diabetic Acidosis and Coma 17.05%
GI Bleed 13.61%
Heart Failure 11.87%
Pancreatitis 24.72%
Pulmonary Embolism 20.07%
Respiratory Failure 0.28%
Sepsis 8.65%
Stroke 8.16%
Valve Replacement Surgery 14.54%