In its latest evaluation of hospitals released in July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) gave Sonoma Valley Hospital a 4-star rating out of 5 possible, which places the hospital among the top 25 percent in the nation for quality outcomes. SVH is one of only a few hospitals in the North Bay to receive four stars.
Data for each hospital in the country is posted on the CMS Hospital Compare website (www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare), which provides a summary evaluation of quality and safety measures. These include patient experience, timely and effective treatment of common medical conditions, prevention of complications and infections, low readmission rates, safe and effective use of medical imaging, and payment and value of care.
“We take great pride in the care we provide and are pleased that the CMS report confirms we meet and exceed national benchmarks for quality and safety,” said Kelly Mather, SVH CEO. “Everyone here has worked very hard to create a Culture of Safety in the hospital. We are committed to continuously improving what we do to make sure community members, staff and physicians provide and receive excellent care in a safe environment.”
Mather pointed out that while the use of star ratings is new for hospitals, it has been in use for some time for Home Health Care and Skilled Nursing Facility services. In recent years, the hospital’s Skilled Nursing Unit has received a five-star rating and its Home Health Care program, Healing At Home, has received a four-star rating.
The CMS rating also provides a financial benefit for the hospital. According to Mather, the hospital’s strong performance provides it with a premium payment from Medicare that is 1.5 percent higher than the average payments to hospitals. Very few hospitals nationally quality for this premium, she said.