NCH Among Top 5% in Nation According to Quality Study

Recognized for outstanding performance by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company

Naples, FL (February 20, 2007) – The NCH Healthcare System announced today that it is once again among the nation’s top five percent of hospitals, according to a study of mortality and complication rates by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings company.

Due to its outstanding quality performance, the NCH Healthcare System has achieved HealthGrades’ 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM for the third year in a row. According to the HealthGrades study, issued today, patients admitted to a hospital receiving this award are, on average, 28 percent less likely to face mortality and 5 percent less likely to suffer from a major complication. This year, only 266 of the nation’s 4,971 non-federal hospitals will receive this distinction.

HealthGrades estimates that if all patients were treated at Distinguished Hospitals, 158,264 lives could have been saved and 12,410 post-operative complications could have been avoided during the three years studied.

“Quality of care is our top priority at the NCH Healthcare System. Providing our patients and families with the best care possible is inherent in our mission, vision, and values,” said Allen Weiss, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “Being named as a top hospital in one of the largest healthcare studies in America validates all we have worked for.”

Each year, HealthGrades independently analyzes the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in 28 procedures and diagnoses. In the Distinguished Hospital Study, the company reviewed tens of millions of hospitalization records over the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that rank in the top five percent when all 28 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score.