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Number of Revascularization Procedures, Related In-Hospital Mortality and Some Complications Decline, While Rates of Infection and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery Increase

Increases translate into $170 million in incremental Medicare spending in FY 2006

ATLANTA, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of revascularization procedures, related in-hospital mortality and some complications among Medicare beneficiaries decreased between 2003 and 2006. At the same time, rates of infection and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery increased. Those were among the findings of research funded and conducted by Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc. (CDS) presented at the American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando.

According to the study, the number of hospitalizations for CABG declined 7.4 percent annually from 2003 to 2006. The number of hospitalizations for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) decreased 2.3% annually from 2004 to 2006 after peaking in 2003. Further research is necessary to determine if the volume decreases, which were unexpected given the aging population, are due to anti-smoking activities, improvements in medical management, and/or increased use of drug-eluting stents.

During the study period, average annual in-hospital mortality decreased 4.9% for CABG and 7.6% for PCI procedures. Researchers also reported statistically significant decreases in complications including post-operative stroke among CABG patients and vascular complications for PCI patients; additionally, the rate of new-onset hemodialysis for PCI cases decreased by 50%.

The incidence of ARDS and post-operative infection associated with CABG surgery increased during the study period. The increase in the rate of ARDS and post-operative infection complications has an economic toll. Prior research conducted by CDS indicates that ARDS and post-operative infection can add more than $46,000 to hospital costs per admission, which equates to more than $170 million in incremental Medicare costs in FY 2006.

"The decline in the number of revascularization procedures may be attributed to a variety of factors, including changes in medical therapy and PCI technology," says Cardiac Data Solutions founder April Simon, RN, who was one of the researchers. "From a quality perspective, it will be important to monitor patient outcomes for facilities and clinicians to determine if the decline in volumes impacts the ability to gain the necessary proficiency and expertise to maintain the current trend of improved outcomes despite increased patient severity."

The research studied all Medicare beneficiaries undergoing CABG or PCI, with the exception of those with any concomitant valve surgery, in a U.S. hospital between October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2006.

In addition to Simon, the researchers included Phillip P. Brown, MD, cardiovascular surgeon (retired) and past chairman, Department of Surgery, Centennial Medical Center; Aaron Kugelmass, MD, director of Cardiac Catheterization at Henry Ford Hospital; David J. Cohen, MD, interventional cardiologist and director, Cardiovascular Research, Mid America Heart Institute, St. Luke's Hospital; Matthew R. Reynolds, MD, electrophysiologist and director, Economics and Quality of Life Core Lab, Harvard Clinical Research Institute; and Steven D. Culler, PhD, associate professor, 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. Visit


    Karen Conway

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SOURCE Cardiac Data Solutions, Inc.
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