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Be VERY Careful Which Hospital You Choose

As I showed in yesterday's post on the medical care crisis, hospitals account for nearly a third of the more than $2 TRILLION that is spent on health care in America. You've read my rants about drug companies, but hospital spending is 300 percent higher than the drug companies.

So not only is it a cash sinker, as this Forbes.com piece points out, hospitals can also kill you, if you aren't careful. In many ways, this is not very surprising as you would absolutely expect hospitals to follow the Pareto Principle, in which about 80 percent of hospitals will provide substandard care and 20 percent will be excellent.

Generally, patients staying in top tier, 5-star hospitals lower their mortality risks by 69 percent in comparison to lowest-on-the-totem-pole 1-star hospitals and 49 percent versus facilities of average quality, according to the ninth annual HealthGrades report.

If you happen to pick one of the bad ones -- the odds are in favor of you doing just that -- you will suffer the results and could pay for the lack of proper research with your life.

So you have been fairly warned. If you or a loved one have to go into the hospital, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Be careful out there folks... Your life depends on it.

The Ninth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study Free Full PDF Report

Forbes.com October 16, 2006