New York Is Second In Health Care Premiums, Last In Hospital Quality

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New York per capita health-care spending is in the top 10 in the nation but its performance is dead last, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which released one to five "star" ratings for hospitals across the country, using 64 clinical guideline measures, such as quality of care for heart attacks and pneumonia, quality measures to prevent hospital-acquired infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. In New York, 155 hospitals were graded.

The Empire Center notes it's the government-owned facilities really bringing the average down, but even pricey Manhattan doesn't show all that well. Only the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan got five stars. Health insurance premiums in the Empire State are second-highest in the country, they note.

New York officials responded as you might expect, saying that Medicare and Medicaid used flawed measures and methodology that led to outlier results. They say the Medicare ranking also fails to adjust for socio-demographic factors that would make New York hospitals appear higher. Yet Mississippi, America's poorest state, still ranked better, found the Empire Center.

Kate Goodrich, director of Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS, says they will update the rankings quarterly, so there is still plenty of time before the next version for New York bureaucrats to show Medicare they don't know what they are doing when it comes to recognizing quality health care.