Hospital Performance Report 2006 - News Release

Contact: Joe Martin, Communications Director
717-232-6787 or


Harrisburg, PA - September 27, 2007 - The overall patient mortality rate for conditions reported decreased significantly over a three-year period, falling from 4.7% in 2004 to 4.4% in 2006, according to the state's Hospital Performance Report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). However, readmission rates increased from 18.7% to 19.1% during this same time period.

"Pennsylvania hospitals, physicians and nurses should be applauded for their contribution to the decline in patient mortality rates in recent years," stated Marc P. Volavka, Executive Director of PHC4. "Reducing readmissions, especially those related to infections and other complications, is one possible way to restrain health care costs while improving patient care."

When looking at individual treatment categories, mortality decreased significantly in 18 of the 26 treatment categories for which three years of data were available. The largest decline was in Respiratory Failure without Mechanical Ventilation, where the mortality rate decreased from 17.0% in 2004 to 13.5% in 2006. Notably, out of the 20 categories where three years of readmission data were available, the largest increase in readmission rates also was in Respiratory Failure without Mechanical Ventilation, where the readmission rate increased from 24.3% in 2004 to 26.2% in 2006.

"For the categories covered in the report, there were 57,993 readmissions, resulting in almost $2.3 billion in charges and 352,000 hospital days," noted Volavka. "Complications or infections were the cause of 15,057 of these readmissions, which accounted for $734 million in charges and 111,000 hospital days."

Respiratory Failure without Mechanical Ventilation had the highest readmission rate for complication or infection at 12.7%, and Vaginal Hysterectomy had the lowest at 2.1%.

There was wide variation in the length of stay among hospitals. The largest variation in length of hospitalization was for Respiratory Failure with Mechanical Ventilation, where the risk-adjusted length of stay ranged from 4.1 to 16.1 days.

The PHC4 Hospital Performance Report includes information about risk-adjusted mortality, readmissions, lengths of hospitalization (stay), and hospital charges for patients admitted to 177 Pennsylvania hospitals from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006. The new print report evaluates hospital performance across 31 common medical procedures and treatments. Data for additional treatment categories is available on the PHC4 website."

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Copies of the Hospital Performance Report, as well as hospital comments, are free and available on the Council's website at or by calling PHC4 at 717-232-6787.