Virginia Hospitals’ Quality Ratings – Which Need Improvement?

Carilion Medical Center Roanoke

by James C. Sherlock

Medicare star ratings for Virginia hospitals constitute a high stakes game in every respect.

It’s the best information a consumer can get. Careers in hospital management rise and fall on the results.

All Virginians should pay attention.

I’ll list our best hospitals in another article, but we’ll look today at those that Medicare quality standards indicate need to improve.

Eighteen out of Virginia’s 82 total acute care and critical access hospitals are rated two stars (below average) or one star (poor). Together, those ratings (22% of Virginia hospitals one or two stars) are better than the national averages (29%).

The Virginia systems and regional groupings that Medicare data show have work to do include:

  • Carilion – 4 out of 6 hospitals.
  • Lifepoint Health – 3 of 6 hospitals
  • Bon Secours – 4 of 11 hospitals.
  • Both Fredericksburg hospitals

Eight of the 18 hospitals are parts of regional monopolies. Three are rural critical access hospitals. Four are proprietary.

Medicare Star Rating. The Medicare Care Compare website is a consumer tool that provides quality measure information.

The overall rating, between 1 and 5 stars, is a result of crunching about half of those measures in algorithms. The inputs are a variety of measures across 5 areas of quality. The 5 measure groups include:

  • Mortality
  • Safety of care
  • Readmission
  • Patient experience
  • Timely and effective care

The overall star rating assigned is a weighted measure of those factors.

Patient Survey Rating. Patient experience of care is measured by a national, standardized survey of hospital patients about their experiences during a recent inpatient hospital stay. This is also referred to as HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems).

2-star.  The two-star Virginia hospitals are:

  • Russell County Hospital –  Lebanon:
  • Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center – Mechanicsville
  • Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital – Kilmarnock
  • Bon Secours Southampton Memorial Hospital – Franklin
  • Bon Secours Southside Regional Medical Center – Petersburg
  • Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital – Rocky Mount
  • Carilion Medical Center – Roanoke
  • Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital – Lexington
  • Mary Washington Hospital – Fredericksburg
  • Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center – Fredericksburg
  • Fauquier Hospital – Warrenton
  • Twin County Regional Hospital – Galax
  • Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center – Haymarket
  • Riverside Regional Medical Center – Newport News
  • Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital – Virginia Beach

One star.  The two one-star hospitals here in Virginia are:

  • Carilion Tazewell in Tazewell; and
  • Valley Health Page Memorial in Luray.

That ranking puts those two in the bottom 6% of hospitals in the country.

Bottom line. Good overall ratings statewide compared to the rest of the nation, but I did not expect Carilion to perform so poorly.

Both its regional medical center in Roanoke and three of that hospital’s five satellite hospitals are on this list.

Here is a spreadsheet that shows all 18 alongside both their Medicare and Patient Survey ratings.