Nineteen states make available the outcomes data necessary for this study. Those states include: Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The study also found that:
All performance categories of hospitals best, average and poor showed improvement over the study period, but the greatest improvement was among the poorly performing hospitals, whose risk-adjusted mortality rates improved 10 percent from 2003 through 2005. While these hospitals showed the most improvement over the course of the study, their overall performance still lags considerably behind the best-performing hospitals.
If all of the 513 study hospitals in the 19 states studied performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals during the years 2003 through 2005, 15,925 deaths among women hospitalized for cardiovascular disease could have been potentially prevented. The national number would be much higher.
The greatest opportunity to reduce mortality is among women hospitalized for stroke and heart attack, which combined represented 60 percent of the potentially preventable deaths.
Wide variations were found across the 19 states evaluated. For example, Arizona had an overall risk-adjusted mortality that was 31 percent lower than Iowa during the years 2003 through 2005, across the six procedures and diagnoses studied.
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