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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
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SOURCE Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc.
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