An exterior view of the new Emergency Department at Huntington...

An exterior view of the new Emergency Department at Huntington Hospital, which received a five-star rating. Credit: Lee Weissman

Three Long Island hospitals are among the nation’s top-performing medical centers, while three others ranked at the bottom, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported.

The federal agency last week gave its highest rating, five stars, to Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center in Roslyn and NYU Langone Health’s hospitals, including NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island in Mineola. Across the nation, 13.9% of the nearly 3,100 hospitals rated by the agency, known as CMS, received the top rating.

The agency gave four stars to seven other local hospitals: Northwell’s Glen Cove Hospital, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead; Catholic Health’s St. Catherine Of Siena Hospital in Smithtown and St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson; and Stony Brook University Hospital.

The agency’s ratings system is an “exhaustive” measure that “really covers all aspects of care,” said Dr. Peter Silver, senior vice president and chief quality officer at Northwell Health. Northwell hospitals’ strong showing,  he said, “indicates that we're doing well in so many components of these metrics.”

Catholic Health’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jason Golbin, said its system aims to provide “truly exemplary” care. “No one wants to be in the hospital, but we want to make that visit as positive as it can be,” he said.

At Stony Brook University Hospital, the four-star rating by CMS shows the health system’s “dedication to achieving outstanding clinical outcomes,” Carol Gomes, CEO and chief operating officer of Stony Brook University Hospital, said in a statement.

The ratings reflect the strong performance of many Long Island hospitals, though the star ratings are not the last word on which hospital is best for a particular patient, industry experts said.

Some hospitals "are more likely to have sicker patients, older patients, patients who are not able to maintain their care after they've been discharged," said Martine Hackett, associate professor and director of public health programs at Hofstra University. "All of that factors into those ratings."

“On the whole, the quality of care on Long Island is excellent,” said David Fielding, a patient advocate in Rockville Centre.

Even so, he said, patients should research how hospitals and doctors perform in treating their specific conditions: “There’s no simple way to condense all the information about a health care system into a five-star rating system.”

The ratings reflect the hospitals’ performance on measures including mortality, safety, hospital readmissions and patient surveys from mid-2017 through 2019 and July through September 2020. 

One function of public reports such as the CMS star ratings, said John McHugh, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is that they "create some sort of incentive to improve quality."

The lowest ratings, one star, went to Catholic Health’s Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip; Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, which is merging with NYU Langone; and the public Nassau University Medical Center, or NUMC, in East Meadow. Nationwide, 6.2% of hospitals received one-star ratings.

Dr. Anthony Boutin, CEO and president of the public benefit corporation that runs NUMC, said the facility “continues to outperform other New York area public hospitals and trauma centers in a number of critical areas,” including mental health care, substance abuse treatment and preventing infections. Other measures of quality and safety, he said, “continue to be in line with other safety net hospitals.” The hospital’s providers, he said, “provide exceptional services to our population regardless of their ability to pay."

The ratings, he said, do not account for “the challenges that come with our core mission and our service of a diverse, often underserved patient population.”

NUMC serves many patients who lack insurance or have coverage through the Medicaid program for people with low incomes. The American Hospital Association said in a statement last month that CMS needs to do more to “ensure the ratings are not unintentionally biased” against hospitals that serve “marginalized” people.

Catholic Health's Golbin said executives are taking the processes that work best at St. Francis and adding them to other hospitals, including at Good Samaritan, "and we expect that in the future … we should start seeing that reflected” in data such as the CMS ratings.

Dr. Joseph Greco, senior vice president and chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, said the five-star rating for the health system's Manhattan, Brooklyn and Mineola hospitals demonstrates that “quality and safety is always at the forefront.” 

NYU Langone has said it plans to spend an initial $100 million on upgrades to LICH now that it is merging with the Patchogue facility.  By the time the merger is complete in a few years, Greco said, “we’ll get them up to five stars.”

Three Long Island hospitals are among the nation’s top-performing medical centers, while three others ranked at the bottom, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported.

The federal agency last week gave its highest rating, five stars, to Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center in Roslyn and NYU Langone Health’s hospitals, including NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island in Mineola. Across the nation, 13.9% of the nearly 3,100 hospitals rated by the agency, known as CMS, received the top rating.

The agency gave four stars to seven other local hospitals: Northwell’s Glen Cove Hospital, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead; Catholic Health’s St. Catherine Of Siena Hospital in Smithtown and St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson; and Stony Brook University Hospital.

The agency’s ratings system is an “exhaustive” measure that “really covers all aspects of care,” said Dr. Peter Silver, senior vice president and chief quality officer at Northwell Health. Northwell hospitals’ strong showing,  he said, “indicates that we're doing well in so many components of these metrics.”

Catholic Health’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jason Golbin, said its system aims to provide “truly exemplary” care. “No one wants to be in the hospital, but we want to make that visit as positive as it can be,” he said.

At Stony Brook University Hospital, the four-star rating by CMS shows the health system’s “dedication to achieving outstanding clinical outcomes,” Carol Gomes, CEO and chief operating officer of Stony Brook University Hospital, said in a statement.

The ratings reflect the strong performance of many Long Island hospitals, though the star ratings are not the last word on which hospital is best for a particular patient, industry experts said.

Some hospitals "are more likely to have sicker patients, older patients, patients who are not able to maintain their care after they've been discharged," said Martine Hackett, associate professor and director of public health programs at Hofstra University. "All of that factors into those ratings."

“On the whole, the quality of care on Long Island is excellent,” said David Fielding, a patient advocate in Rockville Centre.

Even so, he said, patients should research how hospitals and doctors perform in treating their specific conditions: “There’s no simple way to condense all the information about a health care system into a five-star rating system.”

The ratings reflect the hospitals’ performance on measures including mortality, safety, hospital readmissions and patient surveys from mid-2017 through 2019 and July through September 2020. 

One function of public reports such as the CMS star ratings, said John McHugh, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is that they "create some sort of incentive to improve quality."

The lowest ratings, one star, went to Catholic Health’s Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip; Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, which is merging with NYU Langone; and the public Nassau University Medical Center, or NUMC, in East Meadow. Nationwide, 6.2% of hospitals received one-star ratings.

Underserved populations

Dr. Anthony Boutin, CEO and president of the public benefit corporation that runs NUMC, said the facility “continues to outperform other New York area public hospitals and trauma centers in a number of critical areas,” including mental health care, substance abuse treatment and preventing infections. Other measures of quality and safety, he said, “continue to be in line with other safety net hospitals.” The hospital’s providers, he said, “provide exceptional services to our population regardless of their ability to pay."

The ratings, he said, do not account for “the challenges that come with our core mission and our service of a diverse, often underserved patient population.”

NUMC serves many patients who lack insurance or have coverage through the Medicaid program for people with low incomes. The American Hospital Association said in a statement last month that CMS needs to do more to “ensure the ratings are not unintentionally biased” against hospitals that serve “marginalized” people.

Catholic Health's Golbin said executives are taking the processes that work best at St. Francis and adding them to other hospitals, including at Good Samaritan, "and we expect that in the future … we should start seeing that reflected” in data such as the CMS ratings.

Dr. Joseph Greco, senior vice president and chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, said the five-star rating for the health system's Manhattan, Brooklyn and Mineola hospitals demonstrates that “quality and safety is always at the forefront.” 

NYU Langone has said it plans to spend an initial $100 million on upgrades to LICH now that it is merging with the Patchogue facility.  By the time the merger is complete in a few years, Greco said, “we’ll get them up to five stars.”

How LI hospitals fared

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services'  ratings are based on hospital data and surveys of patients. More information is at www.medicare.gov/care-compare. Patients can also look up hospital information on New York state's Health Profiles website.

Five stars

Huntington Hospital

NYU Langone Health hospitals, including NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, Mineola

St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center, Roslyn

Four stars

Glen Cove Hospital

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Port Jefferson

North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset (includes Syosset Hospital)

Peconic Bay Medical Center, Riverhead

St. Catherine Of Siena Hospital, Smithtown

St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson

Stony Brook University Hospital (includes Stony Brook Southampton Hospital)

Three stars

Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park (includes Long Island Jewish Valley Stream)

South Shore University Hospital, Bay Shore

Two stars

Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Centre

Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside

Plainview Hospital

St. Joseph Hospital, Bethpage

One star

Good Samaritan Hospital, West Islip

Long Island Community Hospital, Patchogue

Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow

Source: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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