PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Look anywhere on the campus of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, it is clear to see that the medical center is proud - and very public - about its accolades.
Jerry Fedele is hospital President and CEO is touting a recent report by a company called Healthgrades, that named Boca Raton Regional Hospital as one of 'America's 50 Best Hospitals' for a third year in a row. The marketing team immediately went to work, hitting the airwaves television advertisements.
But what does it take to make this list? Healthgrades Strategic Advisor Dr. Archelle Georgiou says there is basic 'objective' rating criteria. "Did you walk out of the hospital alive? And did you have a complication-free hospital experience?," said Georgiou.
A number of local hospitals made this list, including Delray Medical Center, Jupiter Medical Center, Martin Memorial Medical Center and Sebastian River Medical Center. But not all of the centers are advertising quite like Boca Raton Regional Hospital - because they did not pay to do so.
Hospitals that make the list, must pay Healthgrades a licensing fee to be allowed to use the ranking as a marketing tool. Neither Healthgrades nor its clients will divulge how much they pay, but industry insiders tell NewsChannel 5 that it can be upwards of $100,000.
"In the big scheme of the marketing dollars we spend, it's a relatively small amount of money," said Fedele, who believes it was money well spent.
"It's really a wealth of information that we put at consumers' fingertips so that they can make an informed choice about where to get care," said Georgiou. Despite that statement, neither the company nor its clients advise using this 'Top 50' list as the top way to choose where patients get medical care.
"I don't think that any patient should make any health decision on that one factor alone," said Fedele.
According to tax records, Boca Raton Regional Hospital spent $1.2 million on marketing in 2011. The hospital and Healthgrades stand by these latest findings and say this is just one of the many different marketing tools to reach potential patients.