The story

If you or a loved one develops pneumonia or has a heart attack and is taken to a hospital, do you know what the chances are of getting out alive?

Your chances of survival have become a little easier to find, thanks to information included in the government's Hospital Compare Web site.

For the first time, death rates during the past two years from pneumonia are included with death rates from heart attack and heart failure for individual hospitals across the country. These numbers can be compared with the national mortality rate for heart attack (16.1 percent), heart failure (11.1 percent) and pneumonia (11.4 percent).

In the past, the information specified only whether a hospital was performing at, above or below the national average, without disclosing numbers.

But some question the worth of these mortality rates for the general public. Read full article »

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