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2002 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Named One of America's 50 Top Hospitals in AARP Modern Maturity Report

CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 12, 2002)---Morton Plant Hospital has been named one of America's 50 Top Hospitals, according to the May/June issue of AARP Modern Maturity magazine. The ranking is based on a report by Consumers' Checkbook, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit consumer education organization. Morton Plant is one of only two Florida hospitals on the list.

"To be nationally recognized as one of the leading hospitals in the country is a prestigious honor representing some of the highest standards in the medical community," said Hal Ziecheck, chief operating officer for Morton Plant Hospital. "As the largest circulation magazine in the U.S., Modern Maturity serves the 50-plus population which represents the majority of our patients, so this ranking is particularly significant." Other hospitals in the Top 50 ranking include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York; Emory University Hospital, Atlanta; Cleveland Clinic; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Over the past two years, Consumers' Checkbook ranked 1,308 acute care hospitals in metropolitan areas by surveying more than 20,000 physicians. A statistical analysis of federal records of 30 million patient hospital stays and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations accreditation scores were also part of data collection. The final top 50 hospitals were selected based on the following criteria:

* Physicians' Ratings---percentage of surveyed doctors rating a hospital "excellent" or "very good" for high-risk adult surgery.

* Mortality Rates---percentage of Medicare patients (admitted between October 1996 and September 1999) who died within 30 days of being admitted to the hospital were adjusted to take into account hospital-to-hospital differences in age, diagnoses and other characteristics.

* Accreditation Scores---rating given by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations reflecting the hospital's performance on inspection and review of standards.

* Training---extent of training that hospital provides for physicians based on medical school affiliations and number of residents on staff.

"What makes this survey most meaningful is the fact that the physicians surveyed rated all 1,308 facilities in the study," said Ziecheck. To be ranked in the Top 50, Morton Plant had an overall score of 7,338 and 69 percent of physicians surveyed rated the hospital as very good or excellent. The national average is an overall score of 5,418 and the very good or excellent ranking is 33 percent.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over and publishes Modern Maturity magazine. For more information on the Top 50 ranking, link to

Consumers' Checkbook, a nonprofit consumer research and information organization based in Washington, D.C., also publishes the Guide to Top Doctors, which lists 15,000 of the top-rated physicians in the country. Consumers' Checkbook was assisted by the Chicago-based Michael Pine and Associates in the analysis of mortality rates.

Named a Solucient Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospital for the fourth consecutive year in 2001, Morton Plant Hospital is the largest in Pinellas County and has more than 50 specialty areas of service including cancer treatment, cardiovascular medicine, behavioral health, neurosciences, emergency care, surgery services, women's health, rehabilitation and orthopaedics. In 1975, the hospital launched its heart and vascular services and has recorded many "firsts" including the first hospital in Pinellas County to perform coronary angioplasty and valvuoplasty, as well as minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass. Morton Plant also conducts more open heart and interventional procedures than any other hospital in Pinellas County. In 2001, Morton Plant Hospital joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Moffitt was ranked as one of the country's top cancer hospitals in a Top 18 list published in Modern Maturity.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Beth Hardy

MPMHC News Bureau

727-461-8117 Phone

727-468-7586 Pager