Tom Kurtz, president and CEO of Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber

Tom Kurtz, president and CEO of Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber, stands on the hillside above the hospital in this Thursday, March 25, 2021, photo. Kurtz has been a leader in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model program and says its benefits may have saved his Somerset County hospital.

Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber is among 13% of all hospitals with a five-star rating for overall quality from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“This ranking is a huge honor, and truly reflects the team effort and values of the medical center’s nurses, physicians and staff,” hospital President Tom Kurtz said.

“Simply stated, we care for our patients as individuals, and it shows. Our staff strives to create and maintain these valuable relationships with our patients, our physicians, and our community.”

Windber is among 22 Pennsylvania hospitals with five-star ratings for 2021 and the only one in this region. The next closest five-star hospitals are UPMC St. Margaret in Pittsburgh and Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College.

The system uses seven sets of quality measures as reported by the hospitals themselves: Mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.

“These are not just numbers, they are a reflection of the focus we have on our patients,” Kurtz said. “This is not a static measurement and we must continue with our efforts to maintain this tremendous rating.”

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown and Indiana Regional Medical Center each received three stars, which is the most common designation, Becker’s Hospital Review reported.

Conemaugh leaders said the star ratings provide a starting point for patients making decisions about health care.

“At Conemaugh Health System, we are committed to ongoing quality improvement efforts so that we can continue to provide the best possible care to patients, families and visitors and ensure that everyone has a positive experience at our hospital,” the Conemaugh statement said.

“We value the information that public reports and ranking systems provide; it adds to how we regularly monitor our progress and helps us explore opportunities to continuously improve the care we provide.”

Patients have several other public reporting systems available, Conemaugh noted.

“These systems use different quality measures, performance data and methodologies to calculate scores,” the statement said. “While these tools offer an important resource to patients, the best way to make choices about your healthcare is in direct consultation with your primary care physician.”

UPMC Somerset and UPMC Altoona both received four stars, and UPMC Bedford Memorial received two stars.

Dr. David Burwell is chief quality officer for all three hospitals.

“As we celebrate the Medicare and Medicaid four-star ratings of UPMC Altoona and UPMC Somerset, it is important to recognize that no single rating system can accurately measure all aspects of health care quality,” Burwell said.

“Patients should talk to their doctors as they review this information and use these conversations to help them make decisions about their care.

“We do support the transparent sharing of CMS and other quality measures to improve the performance of all hospitals.”

More details and a complete listing of all hospitals’ ratings are available through the Medicare health care comparison tool at medicare.gov/care-compare.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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