Primary Listings

Hospital Compare – at medicare.gov (all states) Hospital star ratings, complications Editor's Pick

Federal government gives 1 to 5 stars and compares hospital ratings for heart attack (AMI), heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, hip & knee, preventing surgery infections, timeliness of Emergency (ER) dept., use of medical imaging in 2017 – 2018. Includes death rate comparisons from heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, CABG; and return to hospital (readmission) rates. Click on Timely & Effective Care, or Complications. Shows patient satisfaction HCAHPS ratings from 2017 – 2018. Some info on colonoscopies and cataracts. Editor’s Pick because the government standardized broad ratings for all hospitals, and most ratings are based on more than just Medicare patients. However, it is still complicated. Small volume hospitals will not show data for some measures. Be sure to click on Show Graphs or View More Details. Today’s stars may reflect older data than shown at the website. Read the fine print

Accredited Chest Pain Centers – American College of Cardiology

List of Accredited Chest Pain Centers – some with PCI (percutaneous cardiac intervention). Must meet emergency department requirements and standards for timely diagnosis and treatment. List is interactive by state or type of accreditation, including atrial fibrillation (A Fib) and cardiac cath; heart failure, heartCARE center and more. Shows location of each hospital. Provided by the nonprofit American College of Cardiology (ACC)

Best Cardiac Surgery Hospital Ratings STS – Society of Thoracic Surgeons Editor's Pick

Look up hospital ratings for cardiac surgery in your state, through the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). Many hospitals voluntarily report their results, which are posted here for adult coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), valve replacement, congenital heart surgery and lobectomy for lung cancer. Most results cover the time period through June 2018. Most hospitals get two stars for “as expected” performance. Outstanding hospitals get 3 stars; under-performing hospitals get 1 star. Search by state or name of hospital to find the best. Excellent website. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 7,600 surgeons and others dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other surgical chest procedures.

Hospital Compare – 30-day Death Rates, Heart Attack, Heart Failure & CABG (2018) Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals meet expected 30-day survival rates for heart attack and heart failure Medicare cases. National death rates were 13.2% for heart attack, 11.7% for heart failure and 3.1% for CABG (heart bypass) surgery patients. Nationally, these rates improved over the prior 3-year period. Compare hospitals in your area. The number of hospitals that were significantly worse than the national value were 24 for heart attack, 135 for heart failure and 23 for CABG. Results updated 2018, 2014-2017 data

Best Cardiovascular Hospital Lists – How Good are They?

Research published in JAMA Cardiology (Journal of the American Medical Association, Cardiology) studied US News & World Report best hospitals list and 2018-2019 rankings for Cardiology and Heart Surgery. For cardiovascular care, the physician researchers indeed found lower 30-day mortality rates (better survival) and higher patient satisfaction at the top cardiac hospitals when compared with nonranked hospitals. Results applied to heart attack (AMI-acute myocardial infarction), heart failure and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG or heart bypass). Researchers did not find lower readmission rates at the top-ranked hospitals. Published December 2018.

Blue Distinction Centers: Cardiac, Cancer, Hip, Knee, Fertility, Maternity, Spine, Bariatric Surgery, Organ Transplants, Gene Therapy

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have designated national Blue Distinction Centers meeting their standards and selection criteria for bariatric weight loss surgery, cardiac (heart) care, fertility care, organ transplants (e.g. adult and pediatric bone marrow/stem cell, heart, lung, liver, pancreas (adult only) transplants, total knee and hip replacement, cancer care, maternity care, spine surgery, cellular immunotherapy, and gene therapy for ocular disorders. Quality criteria can be found from the home page. Substance Use Treatment and Recovery distinction to launch Jan. 1, 2020. In addition to Blue Distinction Centers, the Blue Distinction+ (Plus) designates high quality centers that also consider cost of care. (No further information is available on prices.) Interactive database; updated 2019

usnews.com Best Hospitals 2018: Cardiology and Heart Surgery

Top of the Cardiac specialty list: Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). Top 50 hospitals ranked. See if there is one in your state. Rankings include survival ratings using Medicare data from 2014 to 2016. Hospitals ranked higher if they participated in public transparency reporting by the medical professional societies. Minimum volume of 1391 Medicare cases over 3 years, of which 500 needed to be surgical

Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals – 2019

Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) 2019 selection of 50 hospitals with significant heart care programs listed in categories: teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residencies, teaching hospitals without such residencies, and community hospitals. List only, organized by state; study primarily used Medicare data from 2016-2017. It examined both clinical outcomes (e.g. survival or mortality, complications, readmissions) and efficiency measures. Released November 2018 by IBM Watson Health

Other Helpful Listings

Hospital Ratings at HealthGrades (all states) 2019

Hospital Ratings (5-star, 3-star, 1-star) for over 30 diseases & inpatient procedures: Stroke, back surgery, COPD, diabetes, gall bladder surgery, bowel obstruction, GI Bleed, hip fracture repair, hip replacement, total knee replacement, prostate removal, TURP, hysterectomy (listed under gynecologic surgeries), respiratory failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, defibrillator, pacemaker, valve surgery, sepsis, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, abdominal aneurysm, stomach surgery, peripheral vascular bypass & more. Probably Medicare-only data for most conditions, although some states provide maternity, appendectomy, and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) data. More extensive list than the federal government’s site. Publicly-traded company. Most data in 2019 ratings are from Medicare patients, from 2015 to 2017. Patient satisfaction ratings (2017 data) are featured by HealthGrades. One hospital at time, unfortunately. No longer Editor’s Pick, since HealthGrades removed the 3-year patient volume, and actual mortality or complication rates compared to predicted. Mostly, the site shows which ratings awards were given to the hospital by HealthGrades – a fee likely was required for publicizing the award.

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