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Willis-Knighton Medical Center ranks high on hospital readmissions study

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Willis Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport is ranked sixth in the nation for hospitals with the lowest readmission numbers, complications and deaths. That’s according to a new study conducted by online consumer health site BetterDoctor.

Hospitals are now required to report this data as part of the Affordable Care Act. BetterDoctor’s senior analyst Divya Raghavan says she wanted to look at this Medicare dataset because many health decisions are made close to home and hospital outcomes vary widely nationwide.

“Not all health care is created equal. Hospitals have very different policies and very different health care results. It’s the same thing with doctors. Doctors have very different results. It’s not a transparent industry. Consumers have to dig and research to get data that’s relevant to them, and that’s problem,” Raghavan said.

BetterDoctor’s analysis revealed many hospitals in New Jersey and New York underperformed. While hospitals in Texas and in the Midwest performed well across many readmissions complications and death measurements, like death rate for stroke patients, serious blood clots after surgery, and collapsed lungs due to medical treatment.

Raghavan says the results of this study and other health care comparisons will need to be tracked over time to draw conclusions.

“Now that this data is being released, there’s a ton of stuff we can do with it. There’s a ton of analyses that can really benefit consumers. These are all definitely studies we’d like to repeat year after year,” Raghavan said.

The study did not skew for hospitals that refer complicated cases to other hospitals. Nor did it take into account rural areas where one hospital serves an entire population.

The cities with lowest readmission numbers and complications were Sarasota, Fla.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Houston; Ranco Mirage, Calif., and Shreveport.