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HealthGrades Award Announced

October 20, 2010
Central New Jersey residents got two doses of good news today for their aching hips and knees: Somerset Medical Center is among the nation’s best for orthopedic care and the medical center is also launching a new Joint Surgery Institute that will provide an innovative approach to the care of total hip and total knee surgery patients. 

HealthGrades’ annual study released today ranks orthopedic care at Somerset Medical Center in the top 10% in the nation. The medical center is also in the top 10% in the nation for joint replacement, achieving five-star ratings for joint replacement surgery three years in a row. The medical center is rated the best in the Central New Jersey region (Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Warren counties) in overall orthopedics and ranks second in New Jersey in overall orthopedics out of 31 orthopedic programs ranked in the study. 

HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent ratings organization, evaluates patient outcomes for 5,000 hospitals. This research is the only comprehensive analysis based solely on patient mortality and complication rates.

Somerset Medical Center has also established a Joint Surgery Institute, Ken Bateman, president and CEO of Somerset Medical Center, announced today. Its features include a standardized approach to care by all of the medical center’s joint surgeons, pre-operative education, an aggressive rehabilitation program which includes group therapy and a joint care coordinator, who facilitates all aspects of patients’ care from their initial meeting with their surgeon through discharge. The institute’s nurses are specially trained in caring for patients who have undergone total knee or hip surgery. After surgery, patients are cared for on the medical center’s state-of-the-art John and Mary Obzansky Pavilion. 

“We are proud to be nationally recognized once again for our orthopedic services,” Bateman said. “These achievements are testament to our outstanding orthopedic surgeons, nurses and rehabilitation staff. Our new Joint Surgery Institute looks to build on this success and further elevate the level of care we provide. Our goal is to offer the best possible experience for our patients with superior surgical outcomes.”

According to the study, the Somerset Medical Center has outstanding patient outcomes across several orthopedic areas, and has received the following awards, ratings, and rankings:

- Recipient of the HealthGrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ in 2011
- Recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ For 2 Years in a Row (2010-2011)
- Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services in 2011
- Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Joint Replacement For 2 Years in a Row (2010-2011)
- Ranked Among the Top 5 in New Jersey for Overall Orthopedic Services For 8 Years in a Row (2004-2011)
- Ranked Among the Top 5 in New Jersey for Joint Replacement For 3 Years in a Row (2009-2011) 
- Five-Star Rated for Overall Orthopedic Services in 2011
- Five-Star Rated for Joint Replacement For 3 Years in a Row (2009-2011)
- Five-Star Rated for Total Knee Replacement For 3 Years in a Row (2009-2011)
- Five-Star Rated for Total Hip Replacement For 2 Years in a Row (2010-2011)
- Five-Star Rated for Hip Fracture Repair in 2011

The study, the largest annual report of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes in nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Among the findings related to inhospital complications in this year’s study are:
·Across all procedures in which complications were studied, there was an 80% lower chance of experiencing one or more complications in a 5-star rated hospital compared to a 1-star rated hospital. 
·Across all procedures studied, there was a 63% lower chance of experiencing one or more inhospital complications in a 5-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average. 
·If all hospitals performed at the level of a 5-star rated hospital, 185,875 inhospital complications may have been avoided among Medicare patients over the three years studied.

The public is demanding increased public reporting of quality measures, and recent government reform efforts support this call to action. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 40% of adults report that they believe there are major differences in hospital quality in their immediate geography. Additionally, since 1996, the number of consumers that indicated they would choose a hospital based on a high quality rating over familiarity has increased to 72% from 59%. 

The new 2011 HealthGrades hospital ratings were posted today and are free to the public at

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Ratings
HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 26 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for equal comparisons. 

More information on the Thirteenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America study, including the complete methodology, can be found at 

About Somerset Medical Center
Somerset Medical Center is a nationally accredited, regional medical center providing comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services and a broad range of community programs to Central New Jersey residents. The medical center is an affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a clinical research affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. For more information about Somerset Medical Center, visit For a physician referral, call 800-443-4605.