Consumer Reports Ranks Surgical Safety in Hospitals Throughout Florida and the U.S.

Thursday, August 15, 2013
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

For the first time, patients can view and compare surgery safety results at hospitals across the country. Consumer Reports recently rated nearly 2,500 hospitals in 50 states for surgical safety. This report measured infections, readmission rates, complications and adverse reactions (such as a heart attack or death) in patients after a surgery. The report was compiled using recently released Medicare data. It took into account a number of different surgeries, including back surgery, hip and knee replacement, angioplasty and carotid artery surgery.

According to NBC News, some of the best-known hospitals around the country did not fare as well in preventing infections and in other measures of quality care as some urban hospitals did.

Click here to read the NBC News article.

To us, this tends to show that you don’t necessarily receive the best care in an area by going to the most expensive hospital or best known hospital.

Consumer Reports released its entire findings on its subscription only website.

Florida Hospital Systems Have Mixed Results.

Compared to the scores of hospitals around the country, Central Florida’s leading hospital systems ranked in the middle. Orlando Health earned a safety score of 46, while Florida Hospital received a 32, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Both hospital systems were ranked in the “worst” rating in the category of adverse reactions after surgery. Out of 32 total categories in which hospitals were scored, Florida Hospital received 10 “worst” ratings, while Orlando Health received four. Florida Hospital’s “worst” designations included for knee replacements and poor readmission rates following surgery. Orlando Health received a “worst” designation for hip replacements.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, in Florida, the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, received the highest safety rating score of 68, while St. Petersburg General Hospital scored the lowest at 20.

To read the entire Orlando Sentinel article, click here.

Surprises in Report.

According to an article on Outpatient Surgery, big-name hospitals did not always rank as well as their reputations would suggest, while lesser-known facilities topped the safety list.

Among those receiving the highest rankings are Greater Baltimore Medical Center, the (Lincoln) Nebraska Heart Hospitals and Texas’s Abilene Regional Medical Center.  Those receiving the poorest ratings are Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Johns Hopkins-affiliated Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. Who knew? Who would’ve guessed?

Click here to read the entire article from Outpatient Surgery.

Larger, more prestigious hospitals, especially teaching hospitals, may take more of the elderly, sicker and more complex patients. Smaller hospitals may only take patients who are not as medically complex and are at a lower risk of any sort of adverse outcome. All rates were adjusted to reflect this fact. The rankings also exclude data on patients who were transferred from other hospitals.

Important Information to Review.

This report comes at a time when consumers and the federal government are pushing for more transparency in the health care industry.  Patients are now able to compare hospitals’ safety results which can hold each hospital accountable. It is important for hospitals to review these reports and know where they stand. The safety report can also show hospitals where there might be room for improvement.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.

The services we provide include reviewing and negotiating contracts, business transactions, professional license defense, representation in investigations, credential defense, representation in peer review and clinical privileges hearings, Medicare and Medicaid audits, commercial litigation, and administrative hearings.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at


What do you think of this safety report? Do you think it will help hold hospitals and surgeons accountable? Do you think it could help improve the quality of care? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Burger, Jim. “Consumer Reports Rates Hospitals for Surgical Safety.” Outpatient Surgery. (August 1, 2013). From:

Jameson, Marni. “New Consumer Reports Rank Surgical Safety, Including Area Hospitals.” Orlando Sentinel. (August 5, 2013). From:,0,7782872.story?page=1

Fox, Maggie. “‘Top’ Hospitals Aren’t Always Tops, New Report Finds.” NBC News. (July 31, 2013). From:

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

Tag Words: hospitals, Consumer Reports, surgical safety in hospitals, ranking hospitals, surgical safety, hospital safety ranking, physician, doctor, surgeon, Florida hospitals safety, best Florida hospitals, Medicare data, back surgery, hip and knee replacement, angioplasty, carotid artery surgery, infections, readmissions, complications, hospitals preventing infections, quality care, hospital quality care, Florida health lawyer, Florida health attorney, administrative law, defense attorney, defense lawyer, The Health Law Firm

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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