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CABG Readmissions Data Added to CA Outcome Reports

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 24, 2012

California is the second state, after Pennsylvania, to include rates of 30-day readmission in its annual report on coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery outcomes, which is posted Tuesday.

In addition to risk-adjusted rates of readmissions, the report also names the best and worst hospitals for CABG 30-day mortality, lists each hospital's rate of post-operative stroke—a consequence of heart surgery said to be preventable—and identifies five hospitals that have an undesirably low use of the internal mammary artery as the graft. Surgeons there instead use the less-preferred saphenous leg vein.

Adding information about readmission rates is an important measure hospitals should get used to. That's because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering adding readmissions for heart bypass surgery to the list of conditions for which hospitals with higher rates would suffer payment reductions in future years, along with congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and heart attack.

Readmissions for CABG was suggested for federal payment determination by a 2007 report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

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