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Hospitals That Have Better Outcomes for Common Procedures and Diagnoses Are Rated as Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence Patients Have Choices—New Information Available to Help Consumers Select Best Possible Care Seattle, Wash.– Jan. 24, 2005 –Virginia Mason Medical Center announced today that a new national study by HealthGrades, places it among the top five percent of hospitals in the U.S. for clinical quality performance. As a result, HealthGrades, a company that measures health care quality in hospitals across the country, has recognized Virginia Mason with the 2005 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM. Virginia Mason Medical Center is the only hospital in Washington to achieve this distinction. The HealthGrades study identifies the highest-quality hospitals in the nation in terms of clinical excellence by analyzing federal Medicare patient data for 28 common medical procedures and diagnoses, from hip replacement to bypass surgery. Virginia Mason Medical Center is one of only 229 hospitals in the country to qualify for the recognition in the study, which is officially titled the HealthGrades 2005 Study of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence. “Improving the lives of people in this community is the top priority of our physicians, nurses and staff,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “As an objective third party, HealthGrades has found that we’re on track with our goal to provide strong clinical outcomes, and we are in outstanding company with these high performing hospitals nationwide. This recognition underscores Virginia Mason’s consistent focus on quality in health care.” According to the HealthGrades study, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence have markedly better mortality and complication rates, even though they tend to treat more and sicker patients. Nationally, a Medicare patient who underwent heart bypass surgery at a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence had a 15.3 percent better chance of surviving than a patient who received treatment at an average hospital. The improved survival rates at Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence were also 15.4 percent better for stroke, 12.62 percent better for heart attack (in hospitals where angioplasty and stent treatments were available), and 19.55 percent better for community-acquired pneumonia). “There is clearly information available for patients and families in our community to review when making health care decisions, and this is good news,” said Dr. Kaplan. “We encourage patients to check this HealthGrades study and other resources to make informed decisions about their care.” In its 2005 study, HealthGrades independently and objectively analyzed Medicare patient records from fiscal years 2001-03, for 28 medical procedures and diagnoses. To qualify for the list, hospitals were required to meet minimum thresholds in terms of patient volumes, quality ratings and the range of services provides. Hospitals with risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates that scored in the top five percent or better nationally – which demonstrates superior overall clinical performance – were then recognized as Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence. For more information on this study see www.healthgrades.com. About Virginia Mason Medical Center Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. About HealthGrades Health Grades, Inc. (OTCBB: HGRD) is the leading independent health care quality company, providing ratings, information and advisory services to health care providers, health plans, insurance companies and more than 125 of the country’s largest employers. Through its Web site, HealthGrades also provides its award-winning information about health care providers and practitioners to more than one million consumers each month. More information about the company can be found at www.healthgrades.com.
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