Heart procedure outcome reporting is increasingly important because of the volume of such procedures. Over the next several months, the ACC plans to release more measures with more hospitals.
For angioplasty and stenting, the ACC estimates that about 600,000 are performed each year to open or unblock narrowed arteries supplying blood to the heart. Currently, one in seven such patients requires a readmission within 30 days. Because the rates vary tremendously among hospitals, the percentage of readmissions reflects quality of care issues or missed opportunities.
The CMS effort to include registry data is part of a growing trend to compare hospital and provider quality collected by private registries run by specialty societies. The ACC's release follows Hospital Compare's publication last year of several surgical outcome measures collected by the American College of Surgery's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program or NSQIP.
According to CMS spokesman Don McLeod, the ACC registry data is part of CMS' "efforts to improve transparency for consumers and leverage existing quality reporting efforts." CMS, he says, is working with other registries "for voluntary public reporting of health care outcomes."
The NSQIP public outcome release includes seven outcome measures, such as blood clots, stroke, or need for breathing support, and three procedures: lower extremity bypass, colon surgery, and surgeries in patients at least 65 years of age treated at 102 hospitals that agreed to the data release.