Hospitals with High-Quality Heart Care are Cost Effective

 

November 19, 2007

November 19, 2007 - U.S. hospitals that deliver better clinical outcomes for cardiovascular care also treat heart patients in less time and at a lower cost, according to a study released today by Thomson Healthcare.

The 2007 Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success analyzed the performance of nearly 1,000 U.S. hospitals based on their outcomes for eight measures related to congestive heart failure, heart attacks, coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), such as angioplasties.

The study found that the 100 Top Hospitals award winners had 12 percent shorter hospital stays than peer hospitals (5.14 days compared with 5.85 days), and costs averaged 13 percent, or nearly $2,000, less per case than peer hospitals.

There also was a large difference in the volume of heart procedures performed by the cardiovascular award-winning hospitals and their peers. The winning hospitals performed nearly two-thirds more CABGs and PCIs.

“An important shift was identified in where CABG patients are being treated, and this shift in patient volume may be the initial indicator that transparency is having an impact,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs, Center for Healthcare Improvement, Thomson Healthcare. “The gap in CABG volume between the 100 Top Hospitals and the peers grew from 104 percent in 2005 to 122 percent in 2006 in the Community Hospital category.”

The study analyzed acute-care hospitals nationwide using detailed empirical performance data from publicly available 2005 and 2006 Medicare MedPAR data and 2006 Medicare cost reports. Thomson Healthcare researchers scored hospitals in eight key performance areas: risk-adjusted medical mortality, risk-adjusted surgical mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures score, percentage of CABG patients with internal mammary artery use, procedure volume, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

The measures were calculated for the following three classes of hospitals: teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency programs, which had 30 winners; and teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency programs, which had 40 winners; and community hospitals with 30 winners.

A list of the 100 Top Hospitals, based on these results, is available at http://www.100tophospitals.com/winners/cardiowinners.aspx.

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