Hospital Performance
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A new report on Pennsylvania hospitals shows significant drops in death and readmission rates across the state. However the data shows that the mortality rate is higher than expected at UPMC for six medical conditions. They include heart and respiratory failure, sepsis, and stroke. Conemaugh Memorial in Johnstown also has higher than expected death rates for those conditions and one more illness. UPMC Altoona says that's because the larger hospitals take the sickest patients. Dr. David Burwell is the Vice President of Clinical Quality and Compliance at UPMC Altoona. "We receive patients from approximately 11 regional hospitals in addition to our large amount of skilled nursing facilities in our region. We accept these patients because we have the technological know-how and enhanced capability at our hospitals." Dr. Burwell says UPMC Altoona recently opened a new stroke intensive care unit and has hired specialists in advanced stroke and heart failure therapies. He says the hospital's internal data shows improvement in several areas and does not show higher than expected death rates. Other hospitals in the region had higher than expected death rates for a lesser number of medical conditions. Data showed Mt. Nittany with higher than expected mortality rates for abnormal heartbeat and stroke and Conemaugh Nason with higher than expect death rates for infectious pneumonia and sepsis.