Kansas City’s two area Catholic hospitals are rated 4-stars

A physician greets a patient at St. Joseph medical Center. (photo courtesy of St. Joseph Medical Center)

By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Associate Editor

KANSAS CITY —Those of us nearing retirement age or already retired are familiar with one of the benefits of our Golden Years, Medicare. But did you know that on the website, www.Medicare.gov, there is a link to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Hospital Compare” page which compares the acute care hospitals within 25 miles of your location? A number of criteria are taken into account, including timely and effective care, safe surgeries, communication between doctors, nurses and patients, and facility cleanliness. Hospitals are rated 1 – 5 stars, with a 5-star rating being the best. According to the website, the national average Is 3 stars.

Recently, CMS announced that data on quality measures on the Hospital Compare site had been updated, which in turn updated the overall Star Rating of the hospitals. CMS’s Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating on Hospital Compare is updated in July and December of each year.

Two award-winning Catholic hospitals in the area — St. Joseph Medical Center in south Kansas City and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs — received four stars.

For the ratings, 4,573 acute care hospitals nationwide were compared according to a latent variable statistical model, which calculated seven different scores for seven different measures. Those measures: Mortality; Safety of Care; Readmission; Patient Experience; Effectiveness of Care; Timeliness of Care, and Effective Use of Medical Imaging (MRIs) are accompanied by a recommendation of best scores — higher or lower numbers. The five-star rating was achieved by 293 hospitals and medical centers nationally, or 6. 41 percent. Four-star ratings were achieved by 1,086 hospitals and medical centers, or 23.75 percent. Three-star ratings were achieved by 1,264 hospitals and medical centers, or 27.64 percent. Two stars were achieved by 800 hospitals and medical centers, or 17.49 percent and one star was achieved by 282 hospitals and medical centers or 6.17 percent.

Both St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers are owned by Prime Healthcare Services, headquartered in California. Prime Healthcare operates 45 acute care hospitals in 14 states, including Missouri and Kansas. George Mitchell, Prime Healthcare Manager of Performance Improvement and Risk, said, “This rating demonstrates our hospitals’ commitment to patient safety and quality.”

St. Joseph Medical Center CEO Jodi Fincher said she was “honored that we have received a CMS 4 out of 5 Star rating. We are committed to bringing the best healthcare to Kansas City, to help ease the burden of illness on patients and their family.” She thanked the physicians, surgeons, nursing staff, “all those that provide high quality care to our patients. Without you this rating would not be possible. We strive for the best outcome, every time, and truly believe in treating patients like family.”

St. Joseph Medical Center was founded in 1874 by three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in the old Quality Hill neighborhood downtown. By 1910, the hospital had outgrown the original 10-room house and a tract of land at Linwood and Prospect caught the sisters’ eye. Though the land purchase was criticized, the neighborhood around it grew exponentially. The new 250-bed hospital officially opened in May 1917. By 1975, the building and the surrounding neighborhood were both in need of renewal. The decision was made to relocate the hospital to 1-435 and State Line Road. In March 1977, on the Feast of St. Joseph, the new hospital was dedicated and opened.

Today, St. Joseph Medical Center is a faith-based, 274-bed hospital providing a wide range of acute care and outpatient services including Senior Care Services, St. Joseph Heart Institute, Breast Center and Joint and Spine Institute. Fincher continued, “Our mission remains consistent with the mission of our founding Sisters of St. Joseph; to improve healthcare in our community. Its Catholic heritage and the spirit of our founding Sisters continue today in our mission of caring for the community. Saving lives is more than our business, it is our calling and passion. Equipped with a highly skilled physician base, nursing staff, support services, spiritual care department, volunteers and our Catholic Identity, we treat the body, mind, and spirit. This care is delivered in concert with new and emerging state of the art diagnostic equipment and protocols. It is my privilege to work alongside this team in the continuation of this mission.”

St. Mary’s Medical Center was founded by the Sisters of St. Mary on a site at 28th and Main Streets in Kansas City. The sisters had come from St. Louis to Kansas City in 1895 at the request of two members of the board of directors of the German Hospital (now Research Medical Center) to take charge of that hospital. In 1905, they gave up the hospital to return to St. Louis, but local outcry convinced them to stay in Kansas City and open their own hospital. The hospital was dedicated in 1909. In 1978, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary (the name now used by the Sisters of St. Mary) announced they would be opening a small hospital in burgeoning Blue Springs, which was dedicated in 1981. Over the ensuing 38 years, St. Mary’s Hospital of Blue Springs grew and expanded into today’s faith-based, 145-bed St. Mary’s Medical Center with a wide range of services, including acute care and outpatient services — a 24-hour Emergency Department to state-of-the-art imaging and cardiovascular care. Key services include the St. Mary’s Heart Center, Stroke Center, Breast Center, Wound Center, Joint and Spine Institute and Surgical Institutes and Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. The old St. Mary’s Hospital in Midtown Kansas City closed in 1988.

The four-star rating from Medicare.gov/HospitalCompare greeted newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Drew Grossman as he began at St. Mary’s. “This rating signals to the communities we serve that we take patient safety and quality seriously and won’t rest until we hit five-stars,” he said.

Both medical centers have garnered numerous awards and accolades from Healthgrades over the past two years. Healthgrades, a U.S. company founded in 1998, has amassed information on more than 3 million health care providers in the United States. In addition to rating physicians and healthcare providers, it recognizes America’s 50 and 100 Best Hospitals, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, and Excellence Awards in 26 areas. St. Joseph’s Medical Center ranks as one of the 100 best hospitals for coronary intervention and procedures and for gastrointestinal services, surgery and care, to name a few awards. St. Mary’s Medical Center is likewise one of the 100 best hospitals for gastrointestinal care and for general surgery, and earned a Patient Safety Excellence designation in 2018, to name a few awards.

For more information about St. Joseph Medical Center, call (816) 942-4400 or visit www.stjosephkc.com. For more information about St. Mary’s Medical Center, call (816) 228-5900 or visit stmaryskc.com.

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Wednesday
November 13, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph