According to the federal government, there are only five five-star hospitals in Tennessee.
It just so happens that one of them is at 301 Tyson Avenue in Paris.
Last week, Henry County Medical Center learned it had received a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS.
The results were announced to the Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees at its Thursday meeting.
“There is no more coveted designation in health care as far as I know,” Scott Whitby said.
Kim Bentley, interim chief nursing officer at the hospital, agreed.
“I had to take a picture of it, I was so excited about this,” Bentley said about the results “I mean, this is a big deal.”
Bentley said the data was entire based on patient outcomes as analyzed by CMS, with no input by any of the hospitals involved.
“This is spectacular because this is completely objective data, that dates anywhere from six to about 18 months back,” she said.
That would put the period the hospital was being evaluated between February 2021 and February 2022.
That means CMS analyzed data from ten months of former CEO Lisa Casteel, and two months of Brad Bloemer’s service as interim CEO.
It also means much of the data took place while the community was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
CMS assigned star ratings to hospitals nationwide based on their performance across five quality categories: mortality, safety, readmission, patient experience, and timely & effective care.
The rating is based entirely on the hospital’s results.
“That’s why it’s so super impressive that they’ve been able to sustain for such a long time,” she said. “So the leadership and the physician staff at that point of time were doing an excellent job of keeping quality in line during COVID.”
“I am pleased that the quality care our staff is providing has been recognized by CMS and that the community can feel safe knowing that they are receiving top quality care when they or their loved ones come to HCMC for care,” said John Tucker, CEO.
This year nationwide, 192 hospitals received a one-star rating, 692 hospitals received a two-star rating, 890 hospitals received a three-star rating, 890 received a four-star rating and 429 received a five-star rating.
Some hospitals do not receive any stars, according to the CMS’ care-compare website.
“This is all Medicare, and all hospitals that participate in Medicare will get a star rating,” Bentley said. “So almost 5,000 hospitals participated in this. And we’re one of 429 that actually got it.”