Get Me the Hospital Rankings, Stat!

Joe Rojas-Burke wraps up his story on attempts by insurers to turn patients needing critical care for heart attacks and strokes into “thrift-minded consumers” with this quote: “Magnusson, the OHSU physician, said public reporting of quality rankings is likely to produce at least one fast result: ‘Those places that don’t score well will take steps to improve their performance and move up in ratings.'”

Another possibility is that hospitals will simply attempt to tweak the system to give the illusion of an improvement in performance and move up in the ratings, in the same way college rankings are manipulated. And what could be more fair than ratings compiled by a nonprofit (oddly enough, unnamed in the article) “joined” by “ten of Oregon’s largest health insurers”?