Houston Medical Center received the America's 100 Best Hospitals Award for pulmonary care for 2012 and 2013 while Perry Hospital received a five-star rating for the quality of its pulmonary, gastrointestinal and critical care.
Cary Martin, speaking at Thursday's Eggs and Issues breakfast at the Museum of Aviation, said the awards are significant because the selection process is performance driven.
"No one applies for Healthgrades awards," he told the museum audience. "You are selected one way and that is by clinical outcomes."
According to a Houston Healthcare press release, Healthgrades evaluates the performance of some 4,500 hospitals nationwide across 30 of the most common conditions and procedures.
Martin said the recognitions underscore the day-to-day commitment by the medical staffs at both hospitals.
"It means they provide better than expected care day in and day out," he said. "They have to demonstrate their commitment every day."
The CEO also noted that both Houston Medical Center and Perry Hospital recently received accreditation from the Joint Commission following a rigorous evaluation of both facilities. Perry Hospital was rated a "top performer."
Martin did caution those attending the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event that challenging days lie ahead for health care in the country, particularly if the Affordable Health Care Act remains in its current form.
"Next year, Houston Medical Center is projected to lose $670,000 in Medicare reimbursements and Perry Hospital will lose $963,000," he said. "I believe Perry Hospital will survive, but many small hospitals will not." The bulk of the Perry Hospital loss -- about $628,000 -- will come due to poximity rule changes to Houston Medical Center.
An increasing shortage of physicians, decreasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and the growing patient load due to aging Baby Boomers could bring a health care crisis, Martin believes.
"It's a huge problem," the CEO noted. "Many doctors are retiring early and nothing we set up was to support Baby Boomers. In fact, our system was designed to be supported by Baby Boomers. Now, the fiddler is getting to the end of his song and we are going to have a real challenge to find a solution."
Martin reminded the museum crowd that Houston Healthcare continues to make huge strides in community benefit.
In 2011, he pointed out, the county-wide, not-for-profit medical complex accounted for $35 million in various categories including charity case and bad debt coverage and community health education.
He cautioned that decreasing Medicare reimbursement is forcing many physicians to refuse patients covered by the federal program.
"They can't continue to accept 40 cents for something that costs them a dollar," Martin stressed. "They can't lose money and make it up in volume. So we're like the atheist at his funeral -- all dressed up and nowhere to go."