Roberta Shapiro is a retired health-care govt who has served in senior administration roles with hospitals, well being insurers and one of many nation’s largest free clinics.
D.C. is undeniably a world-class metropolis. It provides nice universities, museums, performing arts, notable structure and monuments, lovely parks and rivers, nice eating places, distinctive alternatives for civic engagement, and myriad cultural and leisure choices reflecting town’s numerous combine of individuals and views.
D.C. has an excellent deal to boast about. Sadly, on the subject of health-care companies, D.C. can declare no boasting rights. On July 27, the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies (CMS) up to date its General Hospital High quality Star Rankings.
Nationally, about 5 p.c of rated hospitals obtained one star, the lowest ranking. Strikingly, 50 p.c of D.C. basic hospitals — George Washington, Howard and United Medical Heart — obtained this troubling ranking, which “relies on how properly a hospital performs throughout completely different areas of high quality, corresponding to treating coronary heart assaults and pneumonia, readmission charges and security of care.”
No D.C. hospital was among the many greater than 10 p.c of all U.S. hospitals to obtain 5 stars from the CMS.
Actually, the CMS ranking system is just not resistant to criticism. Probably the most notable concern is that it’s intrinsically biased in opposition to city tertiary-care hospitals that deal with massive percentages of poor, marginalized and medically complicated sufferers.
Nonetheless, the listing of four- and five-star hospitals consists of many city amenities, together with Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was ranked No. 5 within the nation in U.S. Information & World Report’s rating of inpatient amenities.
Moreover, D.C.’s pipeline of suppliers appears equally bleak. Out of 192 U.S. medical faculties, none of D.C.’s three such faculties break into the highest 50 within the U.S. Information rating.
D.C. and its instructional and civic establishments needs to be trying to deal with these points head-on, somewhat than perpetuating mediocrity.
Accordingly, it’s obscure how town might depend on Common Well being Companies (UHS), which owns and operates one-star-rated GW Hospital, to handle the substitute facility for the troubled and one-star-rated United Medical Heart.
This query turns into much more acute after a latest Submit article cited a incapacity rights watchdog group claiming severe issues with care at D.C.’s Psychiatric Institute of Washington, which can also be owned and operated by UHS.
Moreover, the Medicare star scores for 16 acute-care hospitals operated by UHS nationwide reveal that greater than 40 p.c obtained one- or two-star scores. As well as, in 2020 UHS paid $122 million to federal and state governments to settle claims of getting supplied insufficient companies.
D.C. and all of its residents deserve higher health-care suppliers and companions.