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

ost 25 percent."

Researchers also found:

  • Heart failure death rate ranged from 6.6 percent to 19.8 percent.
  • Readmission for heart attack ranged from 15.3 percent to 29.4 percent.
  • Readmission for heart failure ranged from 15.9 percent to 34.4 percent.

"This suggests that patients' outcomes are dependent, at least in part, on the hospital that provides their care," Krumholz said. "What we seem to have here are differences among hospitals that are based on quality and the systems that they have in place. If we could better understand how the best hospitals achieve their results and help the hospitals that are not doing as well improve, we could save many more lives."

He said the release and analysis of the CMS data may now make that possible.

"Hospitals, consumers and others can see how individual hospitals are performing when it comes to heart attack and heart failure care," he said. "The hope is that this information will stimulate constructive engagement by the healthcare community to find ways to improve performance and patient outcomes."

"These repeat hospitalizations often happen within 30 days of a prior hospitalization for the same illness and cost CMS and other payers billions of dollars on an annual basis," said Clyde W. Yancy, M.D. president of the American Heart Association and medical director at Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas, Texas. "But even while continually increasing our efforts to prevent heart disease, we must improve the quality of care these patients are receiving now."

Treating patients with evidenced-based medicine known to improve health outcomes is the most effective therapy, he said.

"We currently have a robust amount of information now captured in our clinical practice guidelines that truly inform and can guide pra
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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