AP NEWS

HMC, VBMC store high marks nationally

March 17, 2019

HARLINGEN — The latest federal hospital rankings show the two big hospitals in the city rate highly.

Harlingen Medical Center was rated a five-star facility and Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen received four stars.

The rating awards hospitals from one to five stars, with the average hospital ranking three stars. More stars mean the hospital performed highly on certain quality measures, such as mortality rates, readmission numbers, patient experience, timeliness, safety and effectiveness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.

The ratings by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are meant to reflect hospitals’ quality and safety. This new rankings mark the first time in almost two years the government has updated the list. The rankings were suspended following criticism from hospital executives about the system’s methodology.

Of the more than 4,500 hospitals evaluated, only 337 received five-star ratings.

“ The Hospital Compare website and Star Ratings System are valuable consumer tools that provide important information on the safety and quality of our nation’s hospitals,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Harlingen Medical Center is owned by Prime Healthcare, which operates 45 hospitals in 14 states. Six of its hospitals received five-star ratings.

“ We are extremely proud of the employees and physicians at our hospitals that have earned this mark of distinction, said Sunny Bhatia, chief medical officer for Prime’s Division 1 hospitals. “The five-star rating from CMS is another objective measure of the high-quality patient care delivered at Prime Healthcare hospitals.”

Calls and emails to Valley Baptist Medical Center and Harlingen Medical Center seeking local comment were not returned yesterday.

rkelley@valleystar.com