Hospital quality information on common heart procedure now publicly available

Information from the American College of Cardiology national database of hospital records on stenting and angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI, is now available to consumers.

A new measure that reflects how often patients were readmitted to any hospital within 30 days after having a PCI procedure will be available on Medicare's Hospital Compare website in an easy-to-read, searchable format. The measure, developed through a partnership with Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation - Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, uses similar methodology to other readmission measures that are publicly reported on Hospital Compare. However, this measure is unique in its use of clinical information from the ACC's National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) to evaluate the health of each hospital's patient population for risk adjustment.

This is a pilot voluntary public reporting program. Over 300 hospitals participating in the ACC's NCDR CathPCI Registry have elected to voluntarily publicly report their measure results on Hospital Compare.

"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," said Gregory J. Dehmer, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Public Reporting Advisory Group. "Readmissions are both costly to a health care system and burdensome to the patient and their family."

PCI is one of the most common cardiac procedures in the United States, with over 600,000 performed each year. It is used to open narrowed or blocked arteries supplying blood to the heart. In appropriate patients, it can improve quality of life and survival; however, one in seven patients who undergoes PCI is readmitted to the hospital in the month following the procedure. Unplanned readmissions may reflect the quality of care that hospitals provide to patients during their hospital stay.

The PCI readmission measure compares hospitals to the NCDR CathPCI Registry readmission rate based on unplanned readmissions occurring within 30 days of discharge after the PCI procedure. Each hospital is then assigned to one of three categories:

  • better than NCDR CathPCI Registry rate,
  • no different than CathPCI Registry rate,
  • worse than CathPCI Registry rate.

Results are based on a measurement period from January 1, 2010 through November 30, 2011. The overall NCDR CathPCI Registry readmission rate was 11.9 percent.

"This measure is extremely valuable for patients in that they are, for the first time, getting easy access to information on how their local hospital is performing in terms of readmissions after these procedures," said ACC President John G. Harold, MD, MACC. "Each that has opted to publicly report this information should be commended for their commitment to making sure all patients receive the best possible care."

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