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Watchdog group looks at why local hospitals rated so poorly for safety, quality

When it comes to hospital quality and safety, New York State facilities struggle. A recent study released by the New York Public Interest Research Group, a consumer watchdog, says that a lot of factors could be at play.

The takeaway from the report is that New York has some of the worst rankings for quality and safety in the U.S. despite spending more than other states on healthcare in general.

The group says that potential causes include limited state fines imposed on hospitals that put patients at risk, as well as some hospitals’ failure to implement best practices, the D&C reports.

In all, 34% of hospitals in the state received a one-star rating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services review in 2019. That’s the lowest rating a hospital can receive.

In the Finger Lakes region, several hospitals scored with only one or two stars through this review.

Hospitals are regularly scored by Leapfrog using a letter grade system. Most hospitals in the region received grades of ‘C’ or saw star ratings out of five only reach 2- or 3- stars.

Here are some local scores of interest:

Geneva General Hospital: C
Auburn Community Hospital: B
Newark-Wayne Community Hospital: C
F.F. Thompson Hospital: D
Upstate University Hospital: B
Cayuga Medical Center: C
St. Joseph’s Hospital: A
SUNY Upstate: C
Crouse Hospital: C
Highland Hospital: B
Strong Memorial Hospital: C
Rochester General Hospital: C
Unity Hospital: B

“It is clear that New York hospitals have failed to take enough steps to improve their safety,” the study author Glenn von Nostitz of Lookout Hill Public Research Associates, based in New York City, told the D&C.

It’s unclear what, if any, steps can be taken to address the issues. The state faces a major budget shortfall this year.


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