Quality in Maine Hospitals

Hospitals provide outstanding care to the people of Maine. Maine hospitals offer the highest quality care in the country, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website.

This is nothing new.  As far back as 2003, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, using similar data, ranked the quality of care provided by Maine’s hospitals as 3rd in the country since 1998.    And now, Maine hospitals are among the best in the country according to a report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which used many of the same measures from Hospital Compare, along with claims and other data not posted by CMS.

In November 2019, the Leapfrog Group released its Hospital Safety Scores.  Maine hospitals had the highest percentage of A's in the country, with nearly 60 percent of Maine hospitals earning A's. In December 2018, seven of the 17 hospitals that the Leapfrog Group named as Top Rural Hospitals in the country are Maine hospitals. Only nine states had hospitals on the list and Maine is the only state with more than two hospitals listed.

Also in November 2019, it was announced, Maine ranked first among all states on the 2016 Advanced Care Transformation (ACT) Index(SM) measured by the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). 

In 2016, AHRQ said that Maine was one of five states that set the achievable benchmark for  transitions of care, according to AHRQ's Chartbook on Care Coordination.

Most recently, AHRQ listed Maine as the best in the country in its National Healthcare Quality and Disparity Report.  The report includes a lot of care coordination measures that don't all apply to hospitals.  For example, Maine did well in the measure "Adults who reported being told what care and services they would get when they first started getting home healthcare" and the measure "Family caregivers who received right amount of emotional and spiritual supports from hospice care team."

In early 2012, the Commonwealth Fund evaluated 306 regions of the country on 43 measures of health system performance and grouped them into quarters.  Northern and Southern Maine both ranked in the top quarter, making Maine one of just 8 states with statewide performance in the top tier. Both the Bangor and the Portland regions ranked third in the nation in the Overall Performance on Prevention and Treatment, which included inpatient hospital quality, hospital 30-day mortality, patient-centered hospital care, discharge instructions, nursing home quality, home health quality, adult preventive care and diabetic preventive care.

For hospital performance in 2012 and 2013,  Medicare announced that 79 percent of Maine hospitals would receive a bonus for providing high quality care--a higher percentage of hospitals than any other state.  On average, Maine hospitals saw their Medicare payments rise by 0.23 percent in 2012 and 0.24 percent in 2013. In 2014, even more Maine hospitals received bonuses--84 percent. 

In 2015, Maine had the third highest rate of hospitals recognized for outstanding performance by the Joint Commission, according to that organization’s annual report.
Ten of Maine’s 21 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals were recognized for outstanding performance, a rate of 48 percent. 

Also in 2015, America's Health Rankings rated Maine number one for its treatment of seniors' existing conditions and the prevention of others. 

Maine was number 1 in prevention/treatment in America's Health Rankings Annual Report and 15th overall. 

In 2015, Maine was one of only five states that scored 8 out of 10 on key indicators related to preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks, according to a new report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In November 2013, the March of Dimes awarded the state its Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, which recognizes statewide efforts to reduce preterm births, or births prior to 37 weeks.  Maine’s preterm birth rate dropped to 9.2 percent of all births in 2012, besting the national average of 11.5 percent and tying Maine with Alaska for third in the nation. Maine’s performance made it one of six states to earn an “A” grade on the March of Dimes’ most recent report card on premature births.

Although they are already leaders in providing high-quality health care, Maine’s hospitals still strive to improve.  As the science of medicine evolves, so does the science of health care quality.  The field is advancing rapidly and hospitals routinely re-evaluate how they structure, measure and monitor quality management.
Maine hospitals also led the nation in measuring and reporting the quality of health care services.  As early evidence of our commitment to transparency and accountability, MHA was among the first organizations in the country to routinely and voluntarily publicly release hospital-specific quality data, including patient survey results.
MHA has partnered with the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Education Trust to offer Maine hospitals the opportunity to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN).  The HIIN work will focus on 13 core harm topics with goals of reducing all-cause inpatient harm by 20 percent and readmissions by 12 percent by September 2018.  Hospitals engaged in the project will receive on-site and virtual technical assistance and coaching; cross-cutting resources targeting the harm areas; clinical topic-specific resources and peer-to-peer resources; virtual trainings and in-person events; and best practice hospital stories and case studies.
For more information, please contact Sandra Parker.

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Joint Commission Resources

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