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New Research Estimates 1500 Lives Could Be Saved Annually if the Lowest Performing Hospitals for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery Performed as Well as Top-ranking Hospitals
Date:12/2/2008

ATLANTA, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- New research estimates that 1500 lives could potentially be saved if U.S. hospitals with the highest risk-adjusted mortality rates (RAMR) for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery performed as well as hospitals with the lowest RAMR. The same study also found that the mortality rate for women was higher than men regardless of performance ranking, but the differential increased as performance declined. The study ranked US hospitals conducting CABG surgery into four performance tiers and determined whether there were overall and gender-specific differences in the mortality rates across the tiers. It was funded and conducted by Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc., in conjunction with leading physician researchers, and published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study found that the average RAMR among Medicare beneficiaries in 2003 and 2004 ranged from 1.4 percent among the highest performing hospitals, or those in Tier 1, to 6.4 percent in the fourth or lowest ranking tier. As noted in the Archives of Internal Medicine, "The relative risk of mortality for undergoing CABG surgery in a bottom tier hospital was 4.4 times that of a top-tier hospital," and "75% of the observed deaths of either male or female Medicare beneficiaries treated in a tier 4 hospital could be avoided if tier 4 hospitals could improve their performance to the average performance of top tier hospitals."

The gender differential against women, meanwhile, increased from .68 percent in Tier 1 to 2.67 percent in Tier 4. According to researchers, the increase in the gender difference in risk-adjusted mortality from Tier 1 to all other tiers is statistically significant.

"With CABG surgery being performed on an elective basis more often and at a growing number of hospitals, there is increasing interest and debate regarding performance ratings," said one of the authors, April Simon, RN, MSN, and president of Cardiac Data Solutions. "While we still need to understand the factors contributing to performance among hospitals and various patient populations, this study reinforces that CABG patients, especially women, would benefit from performance ratings based on lives saved and being treated at top performing hospitals."

The article also noted that the difference in relative mortality rates between the highest and lowest performing hospitals is greater than the reduction in mortality rates seen over the past ten years as the result of clinical advances in CABG surgery.

Hospital administrators and chief medical officers interested in how their hospitals ranked are invited to send their name, title and facility name to cdsinfo@cardiacdatasolutions.com.

The lead researchers for the study were Steven D. Culler, PhD, associate professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and April W. Simon, MSN, president, Cardiac Data Solutions. Other researchers included: Phillip Brown, MD, cardiovascular surgeon (retired) and past chairman, Department of Surgery, Centennial Medical Center; Aaron Kugelmass, M.D., director of Cardiac Catheterization at Henry Ford Hospital; Matthew R. Reynolds, MD, electrophysiologist and director, Economics and Quality of Life Core Lab, Harvard Clinical Research Institute; and Kimberly J Rask, MD, PhD, research associate professor and director, Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

About Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc. (CDS)

Founded in 1999, Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc. (CDS) provides consultation services, data analysis, clinical benchmarks, management tools, research support services and leadership training to hospitals, physicians, payors, manufacturers and the financial community. CDS is focused solely on the cardiovascular market with the primary mission of supporting and improving clinical and business decisions to improve the quality of patient care. Using a proprietary data analysis tool with comprehensive and current data on clinical outcomes, CDS helps identify opportunities for improvement and develop evidence-based strategies to achieve them. For more information, visit http://www.cardiacdatasolutions.com.

     CONTACT:
     Karen Conway
     303-564-2147
     719-488-0359

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.


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SOURCE Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc.
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