Kansas hospitals

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Three Kansas City hospitals earned national bragging rights in U.S. News & World Report’s latest hospital rankings.

The University of Kansas Hospital was nationally ranked in 11 adult specialties, Children’s Mercy Hospital was nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties and Saint Luke’s Hospital was nationally ranked in four adult specialties.

The three were the only hospitals in the metro to receive national recognition in U.S. News’ 27th annual Best Hospitals rankings.

Ted Eytan and Sean Sandefur / flickr Creative Commons and KMUW

Most hospitals in south-central Kansas received “average” or “above average” ratings when it comes to quality of care.

Federal health officials released overall ratings for Medicare-certified hospitals so people can comparison shop when they need medical services.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center Facebook

The federal government yesterday released its much anticipated – and controversial – hospital quality ratings. The system uses a one- to five-star system to rate hospitals on things like patient safety, mortality, readmissions and patient satisfaction.

Among the quality ratings for 4,000 hospitals in the United States, just one in greater Kansas City, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, received the top rating of five stars.

Jasleen Kaur, flickr Creative Commons

A review of health system performance nationwide shows some improvement in Kansas—but not much.

The report by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund covers three dozen indicators of access, quality, cost, and health outcomes. Like the rest of the country, Kansas saw more measures improving than declining—but the majority showed little or no change.

Public Opinion Strategies

A new Kansas Hospital Association poll shows strong support in Kansas for expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income adults.

The poll, done in mid-February, shows that 63 percent of likely voters support expanding eligibility for KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

Members of Gov. Sam Brownback’s Rural Health Working Group have their work cut out for them.

Representatives of the state’s hospitals and doctors briefed Lieutenant Gov. Jeff Colyer and other members group Tuesday night at its first meeting.

The Kansas Hospital Association’s Melissa Hungerford says many rural providers are being hit hard by the combination of older and sicker patients, the lack of Medicaid expansion and declining Medicare reimbursements.

Dave Ranney file photo / KHI News

The president of the Kansas Hospital Association is taking issue with recent comments made by Gov. Sam Brownback about Medicaid expansion.

The governor said rather than lobbying for expansion, hospitals should address their financial problems by innovating and getting more efficient. He said reductions in Medicare payments triggered by the Affordable Care Act are the biggest problem for Kansas hospitals.

But hospital association president Tom Bell says the governor is wrong about that.

The first-ever statewide report on infections occurring in Kansas hospitals shows progress against two specific types of infections.

Hand-washing is one of the most important precautions to keep from spreading germs to susceptible patients. Hospitals are also trying to use urinary catheters only when there’s no other option. They’re also reducing the use of central lines—IV ports that go into a large blood vessel.

The results from 2011 show that Kansas is well below national averages for usage of those devices, and for the infections that result.