Friday, May 25, 2007

As reported in the USA Today article, beginning in June, "the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to post the first broad comparison of the death rates for heart attack and heart failure on its website, Hospital Compare." From the article:

The federal initiative marks a bold departure for an agency that has long been the repository of private information on Medicare patients. More than a dozen top hospitals provided USA TODAY with an exclusive look at the government's initiative by sharing their confidential Medicare death-rate report cards. The reports are drawn from death rates of heart attack and heart failure patients who died between July 2005 and June 2006, of any cause, within a month of entering the hospital.

The analysis reveals just 17 of 4,477 hospitals had heart attack death rates that were better than the national rate. Thirty-eight of 4,804 hospitals had heart failure death rates that were better than the national rate.

There was cause for alarm, too. The analysis reveals 42 hospitals where patients are more likely to die from heart attacks and heart failure than patients who go elsewhere, including at least one whose 24% heart attack death rate topped the national rate by nearly 10 percentage points.
Click here to read the entire article.

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