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HealthGrades study recognizes clinical excellence at McKee, NCMC


GREELEY, Colo. (Jan. 26, 2012) – McKee Medical Center in Loveland and North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley announced today that HealthGrades, the nation’s most trusted source of health care provider information, has named each a 2012 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™. This prestigious distinction places McKee and NCMC among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical performance. This is the fourth consecutive year NCMC has been named for this distinction and the second consecutive year for McKee.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, released today, objectively identifies those hospitals with the best overall clinical performance across all 26 medical diagnoses and procedures that the organization rates. These 263 top-performing hospitals represent only 5 percent of the nation’s hospitals and each is designated as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™.

“McKee Medical Center and North Colorado Medical Center can be proud of the contributions of its physicians, nurses and staff in achieving outstanding patient care,” said Kristin Reed, MPH,

HealthGrades vice president of hospital ratings and author of the study. “Northern Colorado is fortunate to have access to some of the highest quality hospital care in the nation.”

This announcement is further recognition of the commitment by Banner Health, which owns and operates the two hospitals, to be a national leader in clinical quality and patient satisfaction. Banner Health has invested heavily in its health information technology in all of its 23 facilities to have one of the most integrated systems in the nation. The system is being used in innovative ways to improve clinical outcomes and patient safety.

“Congratulations, again, to our employees and physicians for their hard work. The health care industry faces continuous change, and our employees have embraced these changes to improve care for our patients. The awards are wonderful, but the end result – improving patient care – is what matters most,” said McKee CEO Marilyn Schock.

Rick Sutton, CEO of NCMC, concurred. “This distinction recognizes the efforts of our employees, physicians and volunteers to deliver high quality patient care and exceptional patient experiences. We are proud that, of the six Colorado hospitals named for this distinction, McKee and NCMC are the only hospitals in Northern Colorado to be among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical performance as evaluated by the HealthGrades study.”

Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes: risk-adjusted mortality and inhospital complications. HealthGrades’ analysis is based on approximately 40 million Medicare discharges for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Using these top-performing hospitals as a benchmark in this year’s HealthGrades study, HealthGrades quantifies the impact of differences in hospital quality in terms of lives lost and unexpected complications.

The HealthGrades study found that:

  • Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence (Top 5 percent in the nation) such as NCMC and McKee outperform all other hospitals across all of the 17 mortality cohorts and six of nine complication cohorts studied from 2008 through 2010.
  • Specifically, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 30.07 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.86 percent lower risk-adjusted inhospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared to all other hospitals.
  • In fact, if all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, 165,704 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved and 6,800 Medicare inhospital complications could potentially have been avoided.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Distinctions
As part of this study, HealthGrades evaluates each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at HealthGrades hospital quality distinctions are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being evaluated, and no hospital pays to be evaluated. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.

HealthGrades, headquartered in Denver, is a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. More than 200 million consumers use the HealthGrades websites, including and, to research, select, and connect with a physician or hospital, and use its comprehensive information about clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, patient safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions and take action. Find more information about our products and services at Follow us on Twitter (@HealthGrades) and Facebook for news and updates. More information on how HealthGrades guides Americans to their best health can be found at

Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the country’s largest nonprofit health care systems. Located in seven states, Banner Health owns or manages 23 health care facilities including McKee Medical Center and North Colorado Medical Center as well as physician practices and nationally recognized research centers. To learn more go to

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