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News and Featured Stories from St. Vincent's Medical Center
Published: 06/11/2007

St. Vincent's One of 17 Hospitals Recognized Nationally For Heart Attack

St Vincent's Medical Center - Bridgeport CTBRIDGEPORT, CT, June 11, 2007 - An analysis to be released to the public this summer by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its website shows that St. Vincent's is one of only seventeen hospitals out of a total of 4,477 in the nation that had heart attack death rates better than the national rate. St. Vincent's also had the lowest death rate for heart attack patients among Connecticut's 31 hospitals. The report by the federal agency, under the Department of Health & Human Services, also includes an analysis of death rates for heart failure.

The report is being hailed as a major step in ushering in a new transparency which will benefit consumers and offer them an opportunity to shop for care based on reliable objective information.

The information on the website was provided primarily by hospitals participating in a national project called the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) Improving Care Through Information.

"The CMS report clearly demonstrates the strength of St. Vincent's cardiology program not only locally but on a national level, and affirms its commitment to quality and achieving the highest standard in patient care," said St. Vincent's President/CEO Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD. "It validates the efforts of so many dedicated and talented physicians and staff members who have built an outstanding cardiac program over the years."

With the report dividing the 4,477 hospitals into three categories of performance, 17 ranked "better than the U.S. national rate," seven hospitals ranked "worse than the U.S. national rate," and 4,453 hospitals ranked "no different from the U.S. national rate" for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack-AMI) admissions.

"This most recent AMI ranking is such a positive designation for St. Vincent's and the community because it not only proves our cardiac program is world class, but also because it provides an effective tool for area residents to use in selecting their hospital of choice," said Jose Missri, MD, CMO, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services and Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine. "It brings great pride both to St. Vincent's and the community we serve."

For heart failure (HF), the ranking categories remained the same, and 38 of 4,807 hospitals had heart failure death rates better than the national rate, 35 hospitals performed worse than the U.S. national rate and 4,734 hospitals performed no different than the U.S. national rate. For HF, St. Vincent's performance was described as "no different than U.S. national rate."

According to the hospital-specific report received by St. Vincent's, CMS has developed the new health outcomes measures or "report cards" for all hospitals in the nation to help improve their quality, and provide consumers with information to aid them in making healthcare decisions. The mortality measures include fee-for-service Medicare enrollees with a principal discharge diagnosis of AMI or HF at least 65 years of age at the time of their admission who were discharged from the hospital between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006. Only patients enrolled in Medicare for at least one year prior to their admission were included. The rate reflects patients with AMI or HF who died during that period of any cause within a month of entering the hospital.

The CMS report is seen as a valuable first step in making once-private patient care statistics public, for reducing medical errors, and for giving the public a tool for making informed healthcare choices. Congress has also given a boost to a trend toward pay-for-performance by granting CMS the authority to develop a plan of implementation for this concept.

CMS has also included in the reports available only to hospitals coded patient information that will assist doctors in determining why their facility may be experiencing a higher death rate.

The report will be available online beginning sometime this summer. Although CMS will not reveal specific statistics on each institution, consumers will be able to visit its website, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, scroll to a hospital and find out if it performed better, worse or the same as the national rate.

For a copy of the hospital-specific report received by St. Vincent's as a preview to the website posting, please call the Marketing/Communications Office at 203-576-5550 or email Lames@stvincents.org.

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