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The Usefulness of Hospital Ratings Trudy Lieberman

October 30th, 2013 | 0

CFAHOn Monday, Pro Publica provided the latest word on the usefulness of hospital ratings, an issue that seems never to disappear despite the growing body of work that raises questions about the methodology used to create them, their conflicts of interest with sponsors, and, most importantly, their usefulness to the public.

A health reporter in Billings, Montana, wanted to know how she should write about ratings, and Pro Publica‘s senior writer, Charlie Ornstein, responded with: “Reporters should avoid writing about hospital ratings if they can. But if they do, they should consult state health department data and the federal Hospital Compare website and look for recent inspection and deficiency reports posted on hospitalinspections.org.” All advice I agree with — not just for journalists but for the public, too.

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