Los Angeles County Opts Out of Hospital Reporting Program
Los Angeles County's four public general hospitals will not provide data for the first-of-its-kind report card of state hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospitals comprise the largest system in the state to opt out of the program, which is sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.
More than 200 hospitals have agreed to participate in the program, called the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce, or CHART. Health experts estimated that it would cost each hospital about $40,000 to provide data for the report card, regardless of the hospital's size, Maribeth Shannon, head of the project at CHCF, said. The report card will be released in the fall.
The report card will score hospitals on treatment of heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infections, as well as patient satisfaction and other quality measures. Data on intensive-care unit death rates, infection rates and patient falls will not be released in the first year to allow researchers to determine how to account for the severity of an illness.
John Cochran, chief deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, said the county opted out because "it costs money to do this work and it requires systems -- and we're still evaluating what we need to do to accomplish that." County officials say they plan to participate in the 2007 report card (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 6/17).