The State Employee Health Commission used a revised methodology this February to determine preferred hospital status for state employees but Waldo County General Hospital remained on the preferred hospital list.

That designation means those covered by the State of Maine Employee Health Plan can be admitted to or receive outpatient surgery at the hospital without being charged a co-pay.

The new methodology incorporated comparative cost into the rating, which includes performance in three categories:

•  effective (treatment of heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia);

•  safe (preventing surgical infections, medication safety and national safe practice survey results; and

•  patient satisfaction (overall experience and would you recommend).

The ratings of low, good, better and best in those three categories are gathered and reported by the Maine Health Management Coalition Foundation, who mission is “to bring the people who get care, pay for care, and provide care together in order to measure and improve the quality of health care services in Maine. By publicly reporting quality information on Maine doctors and hospitals, the foundation hopes to empower the public to make informed decisions about the care they receive.”