CR lists best, worst for angioplasty, carotid artery surgery

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The September issue of Consumer Reports includes ratings for 2,463 hospitals in the U.S. that perform 27 types of surgeries, including two cardiovascular procedures. The analysis looked at quality and outcome measures such as mortality rates and length of stay for Medicare patients.

The overall ranking was based on 27 scheduled surgeries but the report also singled out five surgeries and listed the highest and lowest ranking hospitals. Of those five surgeries, two covered cardiovascular procedures: coronary angioplasty and carotid artery surgery. Here are the top and bottom hospitals listed by the two procedures.

Coronary angioplasty’s highest ranking hospitals:

  • Arkansas Heart Hospital, Little Rock, Ark.
  • King’s Daughters Medical Center, Ashland, Ky.
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City
  • St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, N.Y.

Coronary angioplasty’s lowest ranking hospitals:

  • Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Visalia, Calif.
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Methodist Healthcare Memphis Hospitals, Memphis, Tenn.
  • North Florida Regional Medical Center, Gainesville , Fla.
  • Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
  • St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, Mich.

Carotid artery surgery’s highest ranking hospitals:

  • Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, Dallas
  • Kansas Heart Hospital, Wichita, Kan.
  • Mother Frances Hospital—Tyler, Tyler, Texas
  • Nebraska Heart Hospital, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City

Carotid artery’s lowest ranking hospitals:

  • Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, Ky.
  • Baptist St. Anthony Health System, Amarillo, Texas
  • Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Cookeville, Tenn.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, N.Y.
  • St. John Medical Center, Tulsa, Okla.

The authors pointed out that a hospital can excel in one surgical category and not in another. For example, St. Francis Hospital ranked among the highest for angioplasty and the lowest for carotid artery surgery. They observed that teaching hospitals tended to rank higher for angioplasty and carotid artery surgery but not the three other surgeries in the subanalysis, which were knee replacement, hip replacement and back surgery.

The ratings were based on billing claims submitted between 2009 and 2011. Consumer Reports collaborated with the healthcare consulting firm MPA on the project.

“We know the ratings aren’t a perfect measurement but we think they’re an important first step in giving patients the information they need to make an informed choice,” John Santa, MD, MPH, medical director of Consumer Reports Health, said in a release. “And we hope that by highlighting performance differences, we can motivate hospitals to improve.”

To see the overall surgery ratings, click here.