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Hospital Care for Heart Attack, Heart Failure Patients Varies Across Nation
Date:7/9/2009

DALLAS, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 30-day mortality (death) and readmission rates for acute care of heart attack and heart failure patients vary significantly from hospital to hospital across the nation, according to a new study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers analyzed findings from the 2009 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 30-day outcomes report for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and heart failure, part of the CMS Hospital Compare quality initiative.

Researchers reviewed three years of experience (July 2005 to June 2008) of Medicare fee-for-service patients with heart failure and heart attack. Calculating 30-day death and readmission rates, based on nearly 600,000 heart attack admissions and more than 1 million heart failure admissions at almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide, they found:

  • The average 30-day death rate for heart attack was 16.6 percent and the average rate of heart attack readmission was 19.9 percent.
  • The average 30-day death rate for heart failure was 11.1 percent and 24.4 percent for readmission.

The researchers said their findings represent an opportunity for improvement.

"If we just look at readmission, one in four patients who has heart failure and one in five who has a heart attack is back in the hospital within 30 days for readmission," said Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., the study's lead author and professor of medicine and outcomes researcher at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. "Variations in those rates from hospital to hospital tell yet another story. What we're seeing is that, for example, for heart attack patients, the best hospital in the country has a 30-day mortality rate of only about 11 percent and the hospital with the highest rate in the country has a rate of alm
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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