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Baystate Medical Center among one of top 50 cardio hospitals


Feb. 14, 2013
SPRINGFIELD – Baystate Medical Center has been named one of the nation's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, placing it among the best in the nation at providing cardiovascular care.

The 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study by Truven Health Analytics examined the performance of more than 1,000 hospitals by analyzing outcomes for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasties.

The study, now in its 14th year and previously undertaken by Thomson Reuters, selected Baystate as the only hospital in western New England and one of only three in the state to make the list.

"Our continued recognition as a national leader in cardiovascular care is a testimony to the evidence-proven, best-practice treatment regimens provided by our doctors, nurses and a team of caregivers who are focused on one goal – to help our patients get better," Dr. Aaron Kugelmass, chief of Cardiology at Baystate Medical Center and medical director of the Baystate Heart and Vascular Program, said. "It is particularly exciting to receive this award not long after opening our new Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center, further demonstrating that no one has to leave this community for the very finest in heart and vascular care."

In 2012, Baystate brought transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery, one of the most advanced cardiovascular procedures in existence, to western Massachusetts for the first time. Procedures like TAVR are made possible by the design and technology of the Davis Center, and the integrated care teams of the Heart and Vascular Program.

For patients at Baystate, the Truven Health Analytics recognition means they are cared for at a hospital that is ranked among the best nationally for quality of cardiovascular care, including one of the lowest mortality rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and some of the highest-quality care for heart failure, angioplasty and bypass surgery.

"This year's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals have proven that a commitment to deliver excellent care is still attainable in times of economic uncertainty," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and the 100 Top Hospitals program at Truven Health Analytics. "The hospitals in this study have achieved higher levels of care and efficiency than their peers, demonstrating incredibly strong focus by cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and cardiovascular service administrators and staff on basic care and outcomes."

Dr. Evan Benjamin, senior vice president of Healthcare Quality for Baystate Health, said, "Baystate Medical Center has long served as a regional resource for top-quality advanced cardiac care in Western Massachusetts. Our recognition by Truven Health Analytics is yet another affirmation that our caregivers are committed to the highest quality and safety standards for our patients, among the very best in the country."

The recognition as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital in the U.S. complements Baystate Medical Center's earlier recognition by Truven Health Analytics as a 100 Top Hospital, Major Teaching Hospital in the U.S. Baystate has received the 100 Top Hospital designation four times.

Comparing the award winners with a peer group of hospitals, Truven Health Analytics found that if all cardiovascular providers performed at the level of this year's winners, nearly 8,600 additional lives and more than $1 billion in healthcare costs could be saved. Truven based its analysis on Medicare patients; however, if the same standards were applied to all inpatients, the impact would be even greater.

The study – which showed that cardiovascular outcomes in U.S. hospitals are improving nationwide – reported that across all U.S. hospitals, 96 percent of cardiovascular inpatients survive and remain complication-free. Among the 50 Top Hospitals, performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:

• spending approximately $3,500 less per bypass surgery case.

• having significantly better 30-day survival rates and lower complications indices.

• maintaining lower 30-day readmission rates for heart attack and heart failure patients.

• discharging bypass patients nearly a day sooner than their peers.

The study evaluated general and applicable specialty, short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals treating a broad spectrum of cardiology patients.

Truven Health Analytics researchers analyzed 2010 and 2011 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, 2010 Medicare cost reports, and 2012 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.



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