Lake Regional Hospital gets low rank by Consumer Reports

Boone Hospital Center highest ranked in mid-Missouri

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Under controversial new ratings, a Lake of the Ozarks-area hospital ranked in the bottom three in the state. A Columbia hospital rounded out the top 20.

Lake Regional Health System got a score of just 25 out of 100. The data showed 8 surgery-site infections in 115 surgeries between January and December 2011.

That put Lake Regional's surgery-site infection rate 246 percent worse than national rates. Bloodstream infections were 26 percent worse than national averages.

The survey also found 63 percent more "adverse surgical events," or complications and excessive use of abdominal and chest scans.

"Consumer Reports" surveyed and ranked hospitals for the first time, using 2011 and 2012 government data.

"We looked at twenty seven categories of surgeries and combined that data across all twenty seven and then rolled that up into an overall score or an overall rating for that hospital," said Dr. Doris Peters of the "Consumer Reports" Health Ratings Center. "And then we have also published individual ratings for five common procedures like back surgery, and hip and knee replacement."

Lake Regional Health System CEO Michael Henze addressed the ranking in a statement to ABC 17 News Wednesday.

"By their own admission, this report does not offer a complete picture of hospital quality. We question the methodology used in their unique ranking system; the data does not correlate with the information we submit to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, therefore we cannot verify its accuracy," he wrote. "We recommend consumers consult Medicare's Hospital Compare website for more complete information on nationally recognized quality care measures. Reporting on this site includes verified data from all hospitals."

An ABC News medical expert shared similar skepticism.

"I'm a little concerned about some of these ratings. The hospitals they rated poorly some of them are taking care of the most complex patients out there," said Dr. Richard Besser.

"Consumer Reports" methodology and footnotes, however, indicated some of the data in the survey and rankings came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services.

Columbia's Boone Hospital Center ranked highest among mid-Missouri hospitals, falling below a national average in just one category surveyed. That was a survey about new medication information for patients.

University Hospital followed a trend "Consumer Reports" noted nationwide, in which high-profile hospitals and training hospitals did not rank as highly as expected.

"You might expect that teaching hospitals while they have a better reputation, might perform better, they didn't in these scores, although they didn't perform worse either," said Dr. Peter.

Other hospitals in the region ranked not far behind Boone Hospital.

Full results can be searched on the "Consumer Reports" website.

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