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Press Release

Healthgrades Unveils New Risk IQ Tool for Common Surgical Procedures

Healthgrades
Posted on: 18 Oct 16

Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, released a new, first-of-its-kind Risk IQ Tool today that helps consumers assess their personal risk as it relates to six common surgical procedures, and then provides guidance to select a high quality hospital and physician for their procedure.

In addition, Healthgrades released its annual analysis of the nation’s hospitals, the 2017 Healthgrades Report to the Nation, which offers insight on variation in clinical quality and outcomes across the country. The Report also examines patients’ risk for complications and mortality with common surgeries along with relative driving distance to hospitals in general, and to hospitals demonstrating superior outcomes in a surgery or procedure.

“The Healthgrades analysis unequivocally shows that consumers need to educate themselves before any surgery and get the facts on their personal risk in order to improve the likelihood of a positive outcome,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades. “Consumers can use the Healthgrades Risk IQ tool and subsequent findings to become more informed and make smarter decisions about where to receive care.”

The Healthgrades analysis found that:

  • Clinical and quality outcomes in hospitals vary drastically across the country. The Healthgrades Report to the Nation evaluated the performance of nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, assessing hospital performance relative to each of 32 common conditions and procedures, as well as an evaluation of comparative outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 18 states. According to Healthgrades, patients treated from 2013-2015 at hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have, on average, a 71% lower risk of dying and a 65% lower risk of experiencing one or more complications during a hospital stay than if they were treated at a hospitals receiving a 1-star rating in that procedure or condition. From 2013-2015, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average 223,412 lives could potentially have been saved and 162,215 complications could potentially have been avoided*.


  • Patients’ have varying relative risk for complications and mortality with common surgeries. Patients having surgery in hospitals rated 5-stars will have a lower risk of experiencing a complication or dying than if they were treated in a hospital rated as 1-star in six common surgical procedures. On average:
    • Patients having Knee Replacement in hospitals rated 5-stars have a 67% lower risk* of experiencing a complication (or dying) than if they were treated in hospitals rated 1-star
    • Hip Replacement – 73% lower risk*
    • Pacemaker Procedures – 57% lower risk*
    • CABG – 86% lower risk*
    • Hysterectomy – 60% lower risk
    • Bariatric Surgery – 72% lower risk


  • Patients’ relative driving distance to hospitals in general, and to hospitals demonstrating superior outcomes in a surgery or procedure, can be dramatically different from city to city. On average, 72% of Americans live within 5 miles of a hospital. But in many places, patients must travel further to have their surgical procedure at a hospital rated 5-stars. For example:
    • In the Tampa, FL area, only 19.3% of people have to drive more than 5 miles to get to a hospital performing Total Knee Replacement – but 100% of people in that area would have to drive greater than 25 miles to be treated at a hospital rated 5-stars for Total Knee Replacement.
    • In the Cleveland, OH area, only 19.7% of people have to drive more than 5 miles to get to a hospital performing Hip Replacement – but 86.2% of people in that area would have to drive greater than 25 miles to be treated at a hospital rated 5-stars for Hip Replacement.
    • In the Omaha, NE area, only 15.8% of people have to drive more than 5 miles to get to a hospital performing Pacemaker Procedures – but 100% of people in that area would have to drive greater than 25 miles to be treated at a hospital rated 5-stars for Pacemaker Procedures.


“Mortality and complication rates provide both relevant and objective measures for evaluating hospital quality,” said Marcia Russell, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. “Healthgrades uses a rigorous risk adjustment methodology of Medicare inpatient data as the basis for its analysis, leaving perception and reputation out of the ratings equation. This provides consumers with the necessary data to help them determine the best physician and hospital for their care.”

Access the complete, fully transparent methodology for more information on how Healthgrades measures hospital quality.

Learn more about top performing hospitals in your local area.

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2013 through 2015 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

†Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of All-Payer data for years 2011 through 2013 and represent 3-year estimates for patients in 13 states for which all payer data was made available

‡Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of All-Payer data for years 2012 through 2014 and represent 3-year estimates for patients in 17 states for which all payer data was made available

About Healthgrades

Healthgrades, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Today, more than one million people a day use the Healthgrades website to search, compare and connect with hospitals and physicians based on the most important measures when selecting a healthcare provider: experience, hospital quality and patient satisfaction. For more information about Healthgrades, visit http://www.healthgrades.com or download the Healthgrades iPhone app.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161018005508/en/

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Last updated on: 18/10/2016

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