Παρασκευή, 10 Ιουλίου 2009

Too many needless deaths in US hospitals

Too many needless deaths in US hospitals
Too many people die needlessly of heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia in US hospitals, especially at the worst hospitals, a government analysis says. Patients with pneumonia died at nearly 6 out of 100 hospitals at rates significantly higher than the national average, the analysis by US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said, UPI reported Thursday. Death rates from heart failure were higher at about 3.5 percent of hospitals; the death rate from heart attacks was higher at more than 1 percent of hospitals, the analysis said. Most U.S. hospitals also operate essentially as a revolving door for their patients, with one in every four heart-failure patient and slightly less than one in five heart-attack and pneumonia patients returning to the hospital within 30 days, the analysis found. "We have double failure in our health system," Dr. John Rumsfeld, chief science officer for the American College of Cardiology's National Data Registry, told USA Today. The findings from the CMS -- a US agency previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration that administers the US Medicare health-insurance program -- are based on more than 1 million deaths and re-admissions among Medicare patients at more than 4,600 U.S. hospitals from 2005 to 2008. A separate USA Today analysis of the data found a higher death rate at hospitals in the nation's poorest and smallest counties, compared with those in larger, more affluent areas. Death rates in hospitals in counties where the median household income falls below $35,000 a year rank 1 to 2 percentage points higher than their wealthiest counterparts, a significant difference, the USA Today analysis suggested. A similar pattern emerges at hospitals in counties with fewer than 50,000 people, USA Today

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