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  1. HF Test1036.17:44:21.8772885
Updated 8/31/2009 6:32 PM ET
Poorly performing hospitals found near travel hot spots
No vacationer plans on getting sick, but many do fall ill, and seriously. All too often they land at hospitals that are anything but temples of healing.

In the popular sitcom Royal Pains, ritzy folks in the Hamptons hire a concierge doctor to tend their ills rather than an inept local hospital.

In reality, it's no comedy. A USA TODAY analysis finds two dozen hospitals near popular travel destinations, as compiled by the National Travel Monitor, have death rates among the worst in the USA. A separate analysis shows that one of every four hospitals with high death rates for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia — 94 of 402 — are near state parks.

'DOUBLE FAILURE': Needless deaths at U.S. hospitals INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: See death, readmission rates of hospitals near you

Once, such information was impossible to come by. Data now available on USA TODAY's website and the U.S. government site Hospital Compare (hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) allow vacationers to check in advance, especially those with chronic medical conditions. The hospital analysis, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, calculated death rates for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia at more than 4,600 hospitals across the USA.

"When people make travel plans, they look at many different things: hotels, restaurants, shopping, amusement parks and beaches," says Dia Kuykendall of Visit Florida, the state's public-private tourism agency. Hospitals are "something else to consider," especially if you're traveling with someone who might need medical attention.

The newspaper's analysis of hospitals near top travel destinations shows that poor-performing facilities are scattered nationwide, from the Central Valley in California to the East Coast, from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to the Florida beaches. Hospitals with high death rates for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia can be found in big cities, such as Las Vegas, Dallas and San Diego, and near treasured landmarks, such as Zion National Park.

An ailing visitor to Las Vegas who rolls the medical equivalent of snake eyes may end up at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where the heart attack death rate of 21.1% tops the U.S. average of 16.6%. In the San Diego area, four hospitals from La Mesa to Oceanside have high death rates for heart failure or pneumonia.

Brian Terry of The Healthy Traveler Clinic in Pasadena, Calif., says travelers abroad may find quality medical care with guidance from U.S. Embassy staff. But in the USA, travelers could be on their own.

Poorly rated hospitals near travel hotspots

Hospital City State Heart attack mortality Heart failure mortality Pneumonia mortality
Methodist Charlton Medical Center Dallas Texas No difference Worse than U.S. rate No difference
Baylor University Medical Center Dallas Texas Worse than U.S. rate No difference No difference
Conway Medical Center Conway S.C. No difference Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate
Onslow Memorial Hospital Jacksonville N.C. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Craven Regional Medical Center New Bern N.C. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
U M C Of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nev. Worse than U.S. rate No difference No difference
St Rose Dominican Hospital-De Lima Henderson Nev. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center Crystal River Fla. Worse than U.S. rate No difference No difference
St Lucie Medical Center Port Saint Lucie Fla. Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate No difference
Citrus Memorial Hospital Inverness Fla. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Venice Regional Medical Center Venice Fla. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
North Broward Medical Center Pompano Beach Fla. Worse than U.S. rate No difference No difference
Indian River Memorial Hospital Inc Vero Beach Fla. No difference Worse than U.S. rate No difference
Orange Park Medical Center Inc Orange Park Fla. Worse than U.S. rate No difference No difference
Bert Fish Medical Center New Smyrna Beach Fla. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Manatee Memorial Hospital Bradenton Fla. Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate
Pomerado Hospital Poway Calif. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Hi-Desert Medical Center Joshua Tree Calif. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Grossmont Hospital La Mesa Calif. No difference Worse than U.S. rate No difference
Palomar Medical Center Escondido Calif. No difference No difference Worse than U.S. rate
Tri-City Medical Center Oceanside Calif. No difference Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate
Olympic Medical Center Port Angeles Wash. No difference Worse than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate
Dixie Regional Medical Center St. George Utah Better than U.S. rate Worse than U.S. rate No difference

TRAVELERS: Have you gotten sick on the road? How was your hospital experience?

Posted 8/30/2009 7:00 PM ET
Updated 8/31/2009 6:32 PM ET
Hospitals with high death rates for heart attack or pneumonia can be found near popular destinations such as Olympic National Park. Hospitals with high death rates for heart attack or pneumonia can be found near popular destinations such as Olympic National Park.

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