Quality in Maine Hospitals
Hospitals provide outstanding care to the people of Maine. Maine offers higher quality hospital care on average than any other state in the country
, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare Web site
In 2003, a study
in the Journal of the American Medical Association, using similar data, ranked the quality of care provided by Maine’s hospitals as 3rd
in the country since 1998. In 2013, Maine hospitals ranked best in the country, according to a report
from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which used many of the same measures from Hospital Compare, along with claims and other data not posted by CMS.
In early 2012, the Commonwealth Fund evaluated
306 regions of the country on 43 measures of health system performance and grouped them into quarters. Northern and Southern Maine both ranked in the top quarter, making Maine one of just 8 states with statewide performance in the top tier. Both the Bangor and the Portland regions ranked third in the nation in the Overall Performance on Prevention and Treatment, which included inpatient hospital quality, hospital 30-day mortality, patient-centered hospital care, discharge instructions, nursing home quality, home health quality, adult preventive care and diabetic preventive care.
In both 2012 and 2013, Medicare announced
that 79 percent of Maine hospitals would receive a bonus for providing high quality care--a higher percentage of hospitals than any other state. On average, Maine hospitals
saw their Medicare payments rise by 0.23 percent in 2012 and 0.24 percent
In April 2014, the Leapfrog Group released its Hospital Safety Scores
. For the second year in a row, Maine hospitals had the highest percentage
of A's in the country, with 74 percent of Maine hospitals earning A's. In December 2013, Leapfrog announced
that nine of the 22 hospitals on its Top Rural Hospitals list were Maine Critical Access Hospitals.
In November 2013, the March of Dimes awarded
the state its Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, which recognizes statewide efforts to reduce preterm births, or births prior to 37 weeks. Maine’s preterm birth rate dropped to 9.2 percent of all births in 2012, besting the national average of 11.5 percent and tying Maine with Alaska for third in the nation. Maine’s performance made it one of six states to earn an “A” grade on the March of Dimes’ most recent report card on premature births.
Although they are already leaders in providing high-quality health care, Maine’s hospitals still strive to improve. As the science of medicine evolves, so does the science of health care quality. The field is advancing rapidly and hospitals routinely re-evaluate how they structure, measure and monitor quality management.
Maine hospitals also led the nation in measuring and reporting the quality of health care services. As early evidence of our commitment to transparency and accountability, MHA was among the first organizations in the country to routinely and voluntarily publicly release hospital-specific quality data, including patient survey results.
MHA discontinued its quality reporting after so many others started posting data, but in 2009, the MHA Board of Directors clearly restated its commitment to quality improvement in its five year strategic plan: In Pursuit of Excellence: The Hospital Commitment.
The document outlines a concrete substantive action plan around defined goals that will, when achieved, make genuine progress toward better health care. Click on the In Pursuit
tab to the right for the plan and the data showing statewide progress toward attaining the quality and wellness goals.
For more information, please contact Sandra Parker