National Study Recognizes NCH Healthcare System for Clinical Excellence

Leading Healthcare Ratings Company Ranks the NCH Healthcare System
Among Top Five Percent Nationally

February 15, 2006 - (Naples, FLThe NCH Healthcare System announced that a study of quality at the nation’s 5,000 hospitals named the hospital as one of the top five percent in the nation and a recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM . The study conducted by HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company, found that hospitals in the top five percent in the nation had mortality rates that were, on average, 27 percent lower than other hospitals, and major complication rates that were 14 percent lower.

Each year, HealthGrades conducts the most comprehensive studies of hospital quality in America, producing a rating for every nonfederal hospital in 26 diagnoses and procedures. Hospitals that receive the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that place among the top 5 percent nationally when all 26 ratings are aggregated into a comprehensive score. Only 277 hospitals nationwide are recognized.

“This award truly speaks to the quality of the physicians, staff, Board of Trustees, and volunteers at the NCH Healthcare System,” said Edward Morton, CEO. “It is one thing to be recognized for excellence in a single service area but something all together different to achieve this level of recognition across all service areas of the NCH Healthcare System.”

Carl Westman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NCH Healthcare System states, “ I know I speak for the rest of the Trustees when I say that it gives us great pride to be associated with an organization that is providing a level of quality that is recognized nationally.”

The NCH Healthcare System consists of two hospitals, 500 premier doctors, and a comprehensive network of affiliated medical services.

For its study, HealthGrades performed an analysis of almost 39 million Medicare hospitalization records that cover the latest three-year period, from 2002 to 2004. The analysis is risk-adjusted to account for differences in patient populations between hospitals. In the study, HealthGrades found that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence outperformed all other hospitals across the procedures and diagnoses studied. HealthGrades estimates that if during the time period studied all patients had gone to a Distinguished Hospital, 152,966 lives could have been saved and 21,896 post-operative complications could have been avoided.

“Every day at the NCH Healthcare System we envision delivering care that is on the cutting edge,” said Allen Weiss, MD, President. “It is only through teamwork and the dedication of our physicians, staff, Board of Trustees, and volunteers that this vision becomes a reality. It is because of these individuals that we are among the best in the nation.”