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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Heart care beats US average at four Mass. hospitals, new Medicare rankings say

By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff

A patient's chance of survival after suffering a heart attack or heart failure is better than average at four Massachusetts hospitals -- Cape Cod Hospital, Southcoast Hospital Group, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital -- according to newly-released data from the federal government.

Medicare, the national insurance program for the elderly, today added a new element to its website Consumers now can check the survival rate for a hospital's patients within 30 days of being treated for a heart attack or heart failure.

All other Massachusetts hospitals showed survival rates -- adjusted for how sick the patients were before they were hospitalized -- equal to the average US rates. No Massachusetts hospital scored worse than the national rates. But four did better -- Beth Israel Deaconess, the Brigham and Southcoast showed mortality rates better than the national average for heart failure; the US 30-day mortality rate for these patients is 11 percent.

Cape Cod Hospital had a better than average mortality rate for heart attack patients; the US 30-day mortality rate for these patients is 16 percent.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 05:32 PM
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