It is reported on MSNBC that the government recently gave hospitals around the country a report card based upon how they have treated patients with heart attacks or heart failure.

Officials scored almost 4,500 hospitals around the country and most performed around the national average when their patient mortality rates were considered. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, explained that posting the performance for the hospitals helps consumers know what type of care they are getting for their money. HHS hopes the postings will motivate the hospitals to improve their care as well.

The ratings took into account the following data for each hospital:
– mortality rate
– patient mix (some hospitals have a larger number of elderly or sick patients)

Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association said “hospitals strongly back the government’s effort to give consumers information about the quality of care provided.”
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Hospital Compare was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services, and other members of the Hospital Quality Alliance: Improving Care Through Information (HQA).

Bo Frith