Quality in Maine Hospitals


Hospitals provide outstanding care to the people of Maine. Maine offers higher quality hospital care on average than any other state in the country, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare Web site.

In 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.  In 2013, Maine hospitals ranked third best in the country, according to a report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which used many of the same measures from Hospital Compare, along with claims and other data not posted by CMS. 

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.

In both 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 May 2013, the Leapfrog Group released its Hospital Safety Scores. Eighty percent of Maine’s hospitals earned A’s on the report, making Maine the state with the highest average score.  In December 2013, Leapfrog announced that nine of the 22 hospitals on its Top Rural Hospitals list were Maine Critical Access Hospitals.

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 discontinued its quality reporting after so many others started posting data, but in 2009, the MHA Board of Directors clearly restated its commitment to quality improvement in its five year strategic plan:  In Pursuit of Excellence:  The Hospital Commitment.  The document outlines a concrete substantive action plan around defined goals that will, when achieved, make genuine progress toward better health care.  Click on the In Pursuit tab to the right for the plan and the data showing statewide progress toward attaining the quality and wellness goals.
 
For more information, please contact Sandra Parker.

In Pursuit of Excellence

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Quality Council

As part of its policy development process, the Maine Hospital Association regularly convenes its Quality Council to analyze health care quality and patient safety issues affecting hospitals and to advise the Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors accordingly.   Read More/See Council Member List

Statewide Activities

To improve the clinical care provided in Maine hospitals, the Maine Hospital Association partners with the Northeast Health Care Quality Foundation, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont... Read More

Op Ed: Maine Voices: Hospital executives run institutions dedicated to high-quality care (Portland Press Herald 7/12/13)

Maine Hospitals are Best in the Nation
Maine Hospital's Quality of Care Third-Best in Nation (Kennebec Journal, June 11, 2011)

Data Collection on Race, Ethnicity and Language

Data Collection on Race, Ethnicity and Language

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Joint Commission Resources


Friday Report Story

Eliminating health care disparities goal of draft standards (Sept. 2, 2011)

Links