UK HealthCare Defends Policy On Mortality Rates

Aug 9, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - UK HealthCare announced Friday the overall mortality rate for the program averaged 5.8 percent from 2008 through 2012, with 4.5 in 2008 being the lowest and 7.1 last year the highest. 

Spokesman Jay Blanton says the numbers were on hold because UK has always been driven by what they can do legally to make sure the privacy of patients and families is protected.

"It's a sacred obligation that we have and we must honor that and the law requires it," he said.

Blanton said the peer review process also played a part in the timing.

"If you're going to be able to improve and do things better, even when you're doing things well, but do it better, you've got to have an environment where healthcare professionals can sit around and very candidly assess one another and assess what has happened. The federal government and a number of states recognize that that peer review process can only happen in a private context and that's why the federal law affords such protections," he said.

Meanwhile, the review of the program continues, as does litigation with former WUKY reporter Brenna Angel who originally requested the information. 

Blanton says more data will be released once that review is complete.

Read the full statement from UK HealthCare here.