Oneida Healthcare gets ‘A’ rating from research group

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ONEIDA — Oneida Healthcare Center has received an “A” rating for its healthcare and patient safety practices from the Leapfrog Group a national non-profit that releases hospital ratings each year.

While the rating is a significant improvement over the Oneida hopspital’s “C” rating in 2014, questions abut the fairness and objectivity of the standards used in the rating have come under fire from other area hospitals which have fared poorly under the Leapfrog rating system.

“Patients have more quality data than they’ve ever had to help them choose the right hospital for their care,” Rome Memorial Hospital President and CEO Basil J. Ariglio said.

“But unfortunately, multiple reports with conflicting information and dramatically different ratings can cause confusion rather than helping patients make informed decisions,” he added.

The staff at Oneida takes pride in its approach to healthcare practices, hospital officials say, adding that the proof is in its results, its patient care and its patient satisfaction.

“The key to what we do here is communicating through the different departments, and then being able to do what best serves our patients,” Janis Kohlbrenner, chief nursing officer at OHS, said.

Several local hospitals have criticized Leapfrog’s methods, along with their motives.

“The Leapfrog Group is one of many third-party organizations that profit from their reports by requiring hospitals to purchase licensing fees to advertise their scores,” Ariglio said.

Rome Memorial is not the only organization concerned with the data used by Leapfrog, which Ariglio said uses data from as far back as 2010.

“The Healthcare Associates of New York State (HANYS) expressed significant concerns about multiple aspects of Leapfrog’s methodology and gave it only one star as a reliable source of information,” he said.

Dr. Albert D’Accurzio, the senior vice president and chief quality officer for the Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica, shares the concern about independent rating organizations.

“Patients should talk with their physicians and local hospital staff if they have questions about an organization’s quality scores or quality improvement initiatives,” D’Accurzio said.

“Consumers should also be cautious about any report card that charges fees to consumers or hospitals,” he added

The Mohawk Valley Health includes St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth’s hospitals.

Leapfrog gave St. Elizabeth Center a “C” rating and Faxton/St. Luke’s and Rome Memorial both received a “D” rating.

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