Consumer Reports: More hospitals must publicly report cardiac surgery results, patient outcomes

Although more hospitals that perform heart surgeries voluntarily share information about their complication and mortality rates with Consumer Reports, many organizations fail to disclose the data. And that’s a problem for patients who need the information to determine the best place for a heart bypass or aortic valve replacement.

If hospitals are profiting from these procedures, they must be accountable to the public as well, Doris Peter, Ph.D., director of the Consumer Reports’ Health Ratings Center, told FierceHealthcare in an exclusive interview prior to the release of the publication’s new special report on the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

About half of the 1,000 hospitals that perform heart surgery in the U.S. share their data with the publication, a 16% increase from 2014 when Consumer Reports first published heart surgery ratings.

When the publication reached out to some of the hospitals that don’t report the data to find out why they fail to share the information, the responses varied. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for example, said it missed the reporting deadline. Another, Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita, told the publication that it doesn’t report due to the costs of belonging to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the organization that gathers and shares the info with the publication. That expense can reach several thousand dollars per year.

Others, like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, report the data but don't consent to publish that information through Consumer Reports.

The information, however, is valuable because research shows that transparency leads to improvement—and there is room for improvement, Peter noted. Of the nearly 500 hospitals rated based on the data, only 17 hospitals earned top scores from Consumer Reports in both heart bypass and aortic valve replacement surgery.

Those top hospitals are:

  • Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts
  • Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia
  • Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Massachusetts
  • The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta
  • Centra Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia
  • Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida
  • Orlando Health in Florida
  • Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Florida
  • The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano in Plano, Texas
  • Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina
  • Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Missouri
  • St. Cloud Hospital in Minnesota
  • Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Oregon