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Cardiac Registry Readmission Rates Now Public

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 18, 2013

The results don't show much differentiation among the hospitals that agreed to this release.  

For example only two hospitals, the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, and Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, had readmission rates that were worse than other hospitals in the registry. Thirteen hospitals, including Huntsville Hospital in Alabama and Bellin Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin, had rates that were better. All the rest were "no different."

Dehmer cautioned those who see the list of "better than" and "worse than" hospitals to not draw conclusions about the quality of hospital care either for PCI or for heart care in general just yet because the project just got started.

"It would be terribly unfair at this early stage of public reporting to take any institution and hang them out to dry over this issue," Dehmer says. "It's refreshing for an institution like UMass to say, 'ya know, we're not up to snuff, but we acknowledge this is an important opportunity for us to do better. Let the chips fly.' "

Dehmer says that when the ACC began to consider releasing its registry data to CMS, "we never expected there would be this many hospitals" agreeing to the release. "We were very surprised and gratified, and I think the number will increase as time goes on."

The plan is to include seven outcome measures in the near future, out of the 246 that the ACC registry now collects. The ACC is working with the National Quality Forum to endorse certain measures to be used for outcome comparison for PCI, some of which may be converted to composites.

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