June 27, 2014

Consumer Reports rates the quality of 400 heart surgery programs

Daily Briefing

Consumer Reports for the first time has rated hundreds of heart surgery programs at U.S. hospitals based on patient outcomes, including survival and complication rates.

[Consumer Reports rankings are available only to subscribers.]

The most common valve problem may not require open-heart surgery

How Consumer Reports created the rankings

For the rankings, Consumer Reports used data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, which includes data from more than 1,000 U.S. hospitals. However, just 400 of the hospitals allowed Consumer Reports to access their data for its report.

The data include information from patients' medical records. Consumer Reports adjusted the data for patient risk factors. The organization rated hospitals on two common types of heart surgery: surgical aortic valve surgery and coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Top-ranking hospitals

The top 15 hospitals that that earned the highest scores in bypass and valve surgeries ­were:

  • Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, Mass.);
  • Borgess Medical Center (Kalamazoo, Mich.);
  • Cleveland Clinic;
  • The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano (Plano, Texas);
  • Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center (Clackamas, Ore.);
  • Kaleida Health, Gates Vascular Institute at Buffalo General Medical Center (Buffalo, N.Y.);
  • Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler (Tyler, Texas);
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Ypsilanti, Mich.);
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center (Syracuse, N.Y.);
  • St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana (Indianapolis);
  • Sequoia Hospital (Redwood City, Calif.);
  • Spectrum Health-Grand Rapids, Meijer Heart Center, (Grand Rapids, Mich.);
  • Swedish Medical Center-Cherry Hill Campus (Seattle);
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, Mass.); and
  • Valley Hospital (Ridgewood, N.J.).

In addition, Consumer Reports released an interactive map that allows users to browse heart surgery scores in each state.

The overall trends

Overall, the report found that 20% of the hospitals in the report scored above average for bypass procedures, while 75% received an average score. Just 4% scored below average for bypass procedures.

The report also found wide variation in hospital performance. In four metropolitan areas—Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, and Portland, Ore.—hospitals just miles away from each other had large discrepancies in outcomes (Consumer Reports, June 2014; Jameson, Orlando Sentinel, 6/25; Whitaker, KOMO News, 6/26).

Our hospital benchmark generator

Comparing your hospital or health system's performance to your peers' isn't always a straightforward exercise. But trying to create your own benchmarks to get true "apples to apples" comparisons can quickly become an analytic nightmare.

With our Hospital Benchmark Generator, you get instant access to Medicare benchmarks for financial, operational, and quality data without the hassle. Simply choose your desired cohort and view the benchmarks (in deciles) with your organization's data displayed in red.

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