News | February 25, 2011

Cardiac Care Report Released for Virginia

February 25, 2011 – Although it may seem like the flu, dizziness, nausea and achiness can be signs of a heart attack in women. While heart attacks affect both men and women, the symptoms of a heart attack are surprisingly different between the genders.

Virginia Health Information (VHI) released its Cardiac Care Report, which provides information comparing heart healthcare in Virginia. This year's report reveals women undergoing open-heart surgery continued a five-year trend of higher than expected readmission rates.

The report is a free online searchable tool that can be used to compare five years of mortality and readmission rates for 93 Virginia hospitals in the following categories of care:

• Medical Cardiology: Non-surgical therapy for heart disease such as angina, congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarction (AMI)

• Invasive Cardiology: Surgeries include cardiac catheterization, cardiac pacemaker insertion, balloon angioplasty and placement of cardiac stents

• Open Heart Surgery: Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and cardiac valve operations

The report also contains statewide summaries, which provide details on heart care by age, race, payer and gender.

"Statewide, cardiac care patients with Medicare, Medicaid or commercial insurance coverage have mortality rates as you would expect," said Michael Lundberg, executive director of VHI. "On the other hand, Medicare and Medicaid patients have 30-day readmission rates higher than expected. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers the Medicare program, has recognized the importance of reducing high readmission rates and will provide incentives for hospitals that do so."

In addition to hospital comparisons on total discharges, mortality and readmission rates, the report contains a searchable database of physicians and information from the American Heart Association (AHA) on heart attack warning signs and prevention.

For more information: www.vhi.org

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