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How good is your local hospital? Rankings rate Minnesota's 3rd best in US

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Minnesota's hospitals and clinics are among the best in the country, according to patients responding to a new federal scoring system.

The Business Journal reports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are now using a five-star scale usually seen in the hospitality industry to rank hospitals, and recently started displaying stars at its Hospital Compare website.

According to analysis by Kaiser Health News, Minnesota's hospitals had an average rating of 3.9 stars, placing it tied for third nationwide, behind Wisconsin (4 stars, second) and Maine and South Dakota (4.1 stars, tied for first).

The Medicare website says individual hospital star ratings are based on the average ratings from patients in 11 areas, including nurse and doctor communication, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management and cleanliness.

Here's how some of Minnesota's hospitals fared:

  • Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis: two stars
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester: four stars
  • Northfield Hospital, Northfield: four stars
  • Essentia Health Duluth: three stars
  • Douglas County Hospital, Alexandria: four stars
  • St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud: four stars
  • United Hospital, St. Paul: three stars
  • Abbott Northwestern, Minneapolis: four stars
  • Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Bemidji: two stars

Kaiser Health News noted that only 251 hospitals in the country received the top rating, about 7 percent of all those judged by Medicare.

It said that small, specialty hospitals that focus on "lucrative elective operations" tend to have better reviews than general hospitals, where "chaotic emergency rooms" and "diversity of sickness" makes it more likely to have a negative experience.

The Minnesota hospitals and health centers that received five stars were:

  • Bigfork Valley Hospital, Bigfork
  • Lakeview Memorial Hospital, Stillwater
  • Municipal Hospital and Granite Manor, Granite Falls
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin
  • Fairview Northland Regional Hospital, Princeton
  • Healtheast Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury
  • Sleepy Eye Municipal Hospital, Sleepy Eye
  • Redwood Area Hospital, Redwood Falls
  • New Ulm Medical Center, New Ulm
  • Mayo Clinic Health System, New Prague
  • Sanford Luverne Medical Center, Luverne
  • Lakewood Health System, Staples

No hospital or center in Minnesota received an overall score of one star.

You can search for your local hospital here.

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