~ Press release issued by Valley Health
Valley Health System’s six hospitals and two home health agencies have earned high marks in the latest quality assessment of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS “Quality Star Ratings” are an assessment of the quality of both inpatient and outpatient care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Hospital Star Ratings, which range from one to five stars, are calculated through an analysis of 64 different measures in seven categories of quality and hospital performance: mortality, patient experience, readmissions, safety of care, timeliness of care, effectiveness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.
Valley Health President and CEO Mark H. Merrill shared his congratulations and appreciation to staff and physicians across the organization last week. “Star Ratings provide greater transparency of our performance to patients and our community, and affirm that Valley Health is the region’s trusted provider of high-quality and safe health care,” Merrill said.
Two Valley Health hospitals – Page Memorial in Luray, VA, and War Memorial in Berkeley Springs, WV – earned the highest 5 Star rating. Only 407 hospitals, or fewer than 10%, of the 4,586 hospitals assessed by CMS received a 5-star rating. Three Valley Health hospitals – Winchester Medical Center, Shenandoah Memorial in Woodstock, VA, and Warren Memorial in Front Royal, VA – received a 4 Star rating, shared by about 25% of the hospitals nationwide. Hampshire Memorial Hospital, in its first-ever CMS assessment, received a 3-Star rating, the highest rating hospitals are eligible to receive in the initial assessment period.
“Our goal is to deliver the highest quality care with the best patient experience, and we continuously look at our processes for opportunities to improve,” said Page Memorial Hospital Vice President Portia Brown. “This 5-Star rating affirms the work we do every day for our patients and reflects the shared vision and purpose of all PMH and Valley Health employees to provide the highest quality patient-centered care.”
War Memorial Hospital President Tom Kluge said he is “incredibly proud” of the hospital staff. “This rating reflects the exceptional work of every employee committed to providing safe, effective, timely and compassionate care to patients 100% of the time.”
Valley Health’s two home health agencies in Virginia and West Virginia earned 3.5 and 4 stars respectively, with an assessment of 27 quality measures focusing on process, outcome, and patient experience of care.
“One of the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act has been greater public reporting of quality data on healthcare providers,” Merrill continued. “We fully support efforts to promote transparency regarding cost and quality to help consumers make informed choices about where to seek care. CMS Star ratings and other quality indicators also help hospitals, home health and other providers and agencies see how they perform relative to their peers and identify areas for improvement.”
The recent Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings are the first update from CMS since February 2019. All ratings are posted on the CMS Hospital Compare and Home Health Compare sites.
The hospital has made great progress, thanks to the community partnership with Winchester-based Valley Health.
It’s important to understand PMH’s financial situation. In 2018, the most recent year for which Virginia Health Information has the numbers, the not-for-profit hospital “lost” $1.3 million on total patient revenue of $29.7 million. In 2018, the local hospital also provided $2.1 million in charity care and carried $5.3 million in bad debt.
Every dollar matters as Valley Health maintains high-quality, small-hospital services in Page County and operates in a constantly-changing industry.
Valley Health in Winchester earned a $78.8-million profit on patient revenue of $580 million in 2018.
That helps make it possible to invest in Page Memorial, operating as a satellite in Valley Health’s spoke-and-hub structure.
From family experience, I can attest as to how fortunate Page County residents and their families are to have this arrangement.
Here are links to VHI reports — including efficiency, service lines, patient satisfaction and, yes, financial — on PMH and Valley Health-Winchester.