The city with the best hospitals in the nation is Baltimore, according to a new report.
The report is based on rates of patient complications and deaths for 26 medical procedures and diagnoses at nearly 5,000 hospitals across the United States, and was produced by the organization HealthGrades, which provides physician and hospital information to consumers.
Hospitals with the lowest complication and death rates were designated as HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence. Two hundred sixty-three hospitals were awarded this distinction, representing the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation.
Baltimore has the highest percentage of these hospitals: nine distinguished hospitals out of 19 eligible hospitals, or 47 percent.
The runner-up was Phoenix-Prescott, with 11 distinguished hospitals out of 25 eligible, or 44 percent.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Richmond, Va.; Cincinnati, Ohio; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; and Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, Mich., respectively.
Patients had, on average, a 30 percent lower chance of dying at distinguished hospitals compared with other hospitals across 17 different procedures and conditions, the report said.
Patients also had a 1.8 percent lower risk of developing complications from nine different procedures at distinguished hospitals compared to other hospitals.
If all hospitals in the nation had performed at the level of HealthGrades "distinguished" hospitals, 165,704 lives could have been saved and 6,800 cases of complications could have been avoided between 2008 and 2010, the report said, according to data available on patients with Medicare.
In an environment where one in seven Medicare beneficiaries is harmed as a result of their hospitalization and patients are fearful of the very institutions that are entrusted with saving their lives, it is important to identify and acknowledge those hospitals that are leading the way in reducing mortality and complication rates and to provide consumers access to this information, a statement from HealthGrades said.
Pass it on: Nearly half of hospitals in Baltimore are ranked as top-performing hospitals, according to a new report.