MercyOne Newton recently received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Several aspects including timeliness and mortality were considered for the rating.
“It is a transparent reporting, essentially, of how well you are performing as a hospital when it comes to outcomes,” MercyOne Director of Ancillary Services Chad Kelley said.
The rating takes into account seven different areas of patient care. The four major areas were safety, mortality, patient experience and readmission, which are weighted the highest.
There have been changes in healthcare from a reimbursement for services to a value-based healthcare system, Kelley said, and now hospitals get reimbursed depending on how well they are performing these services. Kelley said this also creates more accountability.
“They are paying for good outcomes now versus just paying for what you do, simply by providing a service,” Kelley said.
MercyOne Newton is required to send certain data each month such as when a patient falls or hospital acquired infections. The data goes on to Medicare, who analyzes it and provides the respective ratings.
“In 2015, we were a 3-star hospital. So in the last four to five years we have improved to a 5-star,” Kelley said.
There were only 11 hospitals in the state of Iowa given a 5-star rating this year and four of those hospitals fall under the MercyOne banner. For MercyOne, the rating is more than just the potential of being reimbursed at a greater rate, it’s about knowing the hospital is taking care of its patients.
“That is why we all go into healthcare is we want to have good outcomes, we want to provide quality care. There isn’t a hospital that doesn’t,” Kelley said.
MercyOne Newton has shown it can provide quality care to its patients but to others inside the hospital the rating is no surprise.
“This is news that thrills me but doesn’t surprise me. In the years that I have been at the hospital both as an employee and as a patient I have been absolutely blown away by the kindness and the expertise of our staff across the board,” MercyOne Newtons Public Relations and Marketing Manager Stephanie Alexander said.
Not only does having a 5-star rating mean having a quality hospital in Newton but Alexander said it also means Jasper County will continue to keep its hospital into the future when rural hospitals all over the country are struggling to stay open.
“I know how lucky we are to have a local hospital. Not every town has that,” Alexander said. “Across the country rural hospitals have been closing and so I think that 5-star rating just underlines the combination of expertise and care that providers offer.”
A full list of ratings can be found at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.
“It is coming to an age where just like every other industry it is transparent. As a consumer you have a choice of where you go,” Kelley said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org