SVMC ranked 4th in U.S. for healthcare value

Tops Vermont's hospitals with an A+ rating overall

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BENNINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center ranked fourth out of 3,282 hospitals nationwide for value of care, according to the Lown Institute Hospitals Index. The hospital also earned an A+ overall, highest among Vermont's 10 hospitals.

"We are particularly proud to have been ranked so highly for value, which is not often considered by other healthcare ranking organizations," said Thomas A. Dee, Southwestern Vermont Health Care's president and CEO. "We put patients' needs and interests first, and this assessment is a powerful reflection of our patient-centered culture."

According to the Lown Institute website, some hospitals provide health care services that are unnecessary, expensive, and even harmful. Unneeded or ineffective procedures, tests, scans, and medications can cause physical harm and waste resources. This overuse is known as low-value care. The practice increases healthcare costs and puts patients at risk.

The index evaluates how often hospitals deliver 13 commonly overused services, including over prescribing, over screening, and unnecessary procedures. It grades the hospitals based on the likelihood that they are delivering care appropriately.

In a video announcing the new index, Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, said, "Hospitals are supposed to help us, but sometimes they deliver services that are not only unnecessary; they can hurt patients."

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"This problem has been receiving increased attention in recent years, but it has never been included in a hospital ranking until now," said Brownlee, the author of author of the New York Times' best economics book of 2007, "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer."

"Integrity and letting patients' needs guide our actions are fundamental to our mission of exceptional care," said Trey Dobson, MD, SVMC's chief medical officer and emergency physician. "I am proud of our medical staff and clinical and non-clinical support professionals for having performed so well in this national ranking."

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is a new project of the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that conducts research, convenes experts, and sparks public debate to bridge the gap between existing public policy surrounding healthcare in America. The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is a new kind of hospital ranking, one that takes into account the full breadth of what hospitals do. It evaluates hospitals' performance based on how well they treat their patients, their commitment to providing high-value care, and their investment in community health.

SVMC's cumulative ranking placed it 136th nationwide, in the top 4 percent of hospitals nationally. Additionally, the hospital ranked 19th out of 516 small hospitals (50 - 99 beds) in the United States.

For more information about the Lown Hospital's Index, visit lownhospitalsindex.org.


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