Wisconsin’s hospitals outperform national average in new fed quality ratings

Wisconsin’s hospitals significantly outperformed the national average in a new five-star quality rating system from the feds.

The data, from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, shows nearly half of the state’s 127 hospitals got either four or five stars in the new system. That’s much higher than the 22.5 percent of hospitals nationally that made it to the top two levels.

The average rating for Wisconsin hospitals was 3.645, compared to 3.045 nationally.

None of Wisconsin’s hospitals got the lowest rating of one star, while only three hospitals got two stars. Those hospitals were: Ministry St. Joseph’s in Marshfield, Divine Savior Healthcare in Portage and St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

But those three hospitals represented about 2 percent of the state’s 127 hospitals, while 15.7 percent of hospitals nationally got two stars.

Almost 49 percent of Wisconsin’s hospitals got four stars, compared to 20.3 nationally. And 30 percent of Wisconsin’s hospitals got three stars, compared to 38.5 percent nationwide.

Wisconsin had six of 127 hospitals with a five-star rating: the Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, UnityPoint Health-Meriter in Madison, Sauk Prairie Hospital in Prairie du Sac, the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin in Glendale and the Oakleaf Surgical Hospital in Altoona.

Though the Wisconsin Hospital Association said it was “pleased” its members came out well in the new ratings, it echoed concerns from the national association.

“We are concerned that the large number of different hospital ratings that exist and the complexity of how these ratings are calculated can cause confusion for health care consumers,” WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court said. “Hospitals are working hard to improve the quality of the most important services they provide, which may or may not be reflected in this new rating.”

See a spreadsheet with Wisconsin hospitals’ quality data

See the CMS release

— By Polo Rocha,