Medicare's Hospital Compare website now includes data on how many patients are readmitted within 30 days of undergoing heart catheterization procedures, such as angioplasty.
Reporting the data on percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is voluntary, the government said on Medicare.gov, and involves hospitals participating in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) CathPCI Registry. The reporting comes through a collaboration between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American College of Cardiology.
More than 300 hospitals are participating in the project, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) said in an announcement. The Hospital Compare data is based on 30-day readmissions of Medicare fee-for-service patients.
"Participating in this registry and in public reporting of readmissions data shows a significant commitment on the part of the hospitals to transparency and quality," Gregory J. Dehmer, M.D., chair of the ACC Public Reporting Advisory Group, said in a statement. "Readmissions are both costly to a healthcare system and burdensome to the patient and their family."
U.S. hospitals perform more than 600,000 PCI procedures annually, according to the cardiology group. About one in seven of those patients is readmitted within 30 days.
The comparisons on Medicare.gov adjust for factors including the age and overall health of patients before PCI, according to CMS. Adjusted rates are compared with the CathPCI Registry rates. Hospitals are then placed in three categories: better, comparable or worse than the registry rate.
The announcement follows publication of a study in the June issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions finding that outlier hospitals in Massachusetts appeared to be avoiding PCI on high-risk patients to reduce their publicly reported mortality rates.
After public reporting began, outlier hospitals--those with higher-than-average mortality rates--had 18 percent lower mortality rates for the 30 days following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) than other hospitals, researchers from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital found.
The researchers found a significantly lower risk profile among PCI patients at outlier hospitals after public reporting began, "suggesting that risk-aversive behaviors among PCI operators at outlier institutions may be an unintended consequence of public reporting in Massachusetts," the researchers concluded.
-see the announcement and the comparisons on Medicare.gov
-read the American College of Cardiology announcement
-here's the JACC:Cardiovascular Interventions study
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