Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – A recent “D” safety rating for Kingman Regional Medical Center is based on erroneous data submitted in 2015, Chief Executive Officer Brian Turney said Tuesday during a meeting of Hospital District Number One of Mohave County.
The ratings were released five months ago by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit internet organization that collects information on the quality and safety of American health care.
Turney said incorrect safety performance data was reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in early 2016 by a temporary infection control worker who was contracted by the hospital.
“We messed up,” Turney said. “The interim person totally messed up the reporting. We had two experts come in behind her, and they couldn’t figure out where it was.”
It didn’t matter that a corrected version of the report was accepted by CDC, he said. The hospital didn’t correct the report in time for the CMC deadline.
“Bottom line is these companies are using incorrect information. We got the data corrected last year. We’re going through an appeal process and kicking it up to a higher level of CMS, so we’re a little more optimistic that it gets changed,” the CEO said.
He said KRMC safety measures were much better than reported. The infection control worker reported 14 central line-associated blood stream infections, but the real reportable number was one. KRMC’s urinary tract infection rate associated with catheters was reported as 15, when the actual reportable number was also one.
Other infections were also over-reported, and as a result, KRMC terminated the contracted worker, Turney added.
“When we discovered the errors, KRMC immediately reported the issue along with proof of the correct data to the CDC and notified CMS,” he said.
However, CMS refused to use the corrected data even though it was accepted by the CDC. KRMC appealed to CMS to correct the data and were refused, leading to the second appeal to the higher-ups.
Leapfrog and other for-profit rating vendors pull their ranking data from CMS.
“Unfortunately, our incorrect 2015 safety data is still being circulated,” Turney said. “CMS will be updating their website to include 2016 safety data in October. Based on preview reports, we anticipate our overall 2016 safety data will be at or better than expected levels.”
According to Leapfrog’s website, one in 25 hospital patients in the United States contracts an infection every day, leading to longer hospital stays, significant discomfort and even death. These infections cost $10 billion a year, with one-fifth of them coming from central line-associated blood stream infections.