Many hospitals may wonder whether it's worth it to seek comprehensive designation. Albers says that's unclear, and certainly it won't be worth it for every hospital to try.
"It's very expensive because of all the time these people have to put into it, and the benefits—what's going to be the increased volume and how does that turn into revenue for the hospital—is unclear. But there are other benefits, such as reputational scores [reflected] in ratings like that published by U.S. News & World Report."
Patrick Lyden, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's stroke program in Los Angeles, whose hospital had its comprehensive stroke center performance evaluation last week, says the designation "is superb, and a long time in coming, and TJC is doing it really well.
"They're going to a lot of places that want to be comprehensive and think they're comprehensive, and they're telling people, 'No, you're not up to snuff.'"