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The Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals 2020

November 17, 2020, 11:30 AM UTC

In January 2020, several weeks before “COVID” became the world’s most feared acronym, the National Center for Health Statistics announced the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. for 2018, the latest year for which final data is available. Once again, the leading killer in America was heart disease.

Today, as the coronavirus continues its reign of terror, many might imagine that COVID-19 will vault to the top of nation’s list of killers in 2020. But as many lives as this insidious virus has taken, and will take in the months to come, heart disease will inevitably take more. Indeed, it will kill more people in the U.S. than any other cause—just as it has every year since 1921. For some perspective, as of mid-November, COVID has killed some 250,000 Americans. Heart disease accounted for 655,381 resident deaths in the U.S. in 2018, or 23.1% of all fatalities in the country.

And when the grim counting is finally done for 2020, the toll for heart disease may be notably higher than it has been in recent years. That will have much to do with COVID, which researchers are increasingly understanding, in part, as a vascular disease. This spring, the editors of the Journal of the American Heart Association published a white paper on the many ways the Sars-CoV-2 virus—which targets a protein receptor that’s highly expressed in cells of the heart—not only produces the familiar respiratory symptoms of COVID but also causes a slew of cardiovascular problems. COVID patients often have elevated levels of troponin, a protein marker associated with heart attack, as well as levels of inflammation that may cause dangerous arrhythmias. Those with existing hypertension or other risk factors for heart disease also have much higher rates of severe illness and death from COVID, a fact doctors began observing early in the pandemic.

Understanding these interactions—some of them subtle, some hidden but potentially lasting—is critical if we are to contain COVID’s long-term damage to the nation’s health. And the places that are likely to be on the front lines in this endeavor are hospitals that specialize in cardiac care.

That’s one reason Fortune partnered with IBM Watson Health to publish our list of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals. The list, which follows up on our ranking this summer of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation over all, selects the leading medical centers out of a sprawling universe of nearly 1,000 short-term, acute care, nonfederal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients.

Using publicly available data, we evaluated 980 hospitals based on several key performance indicators—everything from straightforward clinical outcomes (including inpatient and 30-day mortality, medical complications, and 30-day readmission rates) to average lengths of stay in the hospital, operational efficiency, and yes, patient experience. In the list below, we also break out each individual hospital’s rank on outcome measures for four key areas of cardiac treatment: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft, and percutaneous coronary intervention.

Based on the data points above, the difference between this cream and the rest of the crop is dramatic. If all U.S. hospitals’ cardiovascular service lines performed at the level of our 50 exemplars, we could save more than 7,000 additional lives, avoid medical complications in an additional 5,000-plus bypass and angioplasty patients, and save over $1.6 billion annually, according to estimates by IBM Watson Health.

But taken together, this list represents more than a group of good test-takers. Many of our 50 hospitals have been showcases for serving the health of their communities as well, offering broad access to care and focusing on ways to improve health equity. University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Medical Center supports a primary-care clinic and outreach efforts that serve mainly low-income and uninsured Hispanic patients in Baltimore. St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, meanwhile, has embraced Community Health Needs Assessments to get deeper insight into the health challenges facing families in Boise, where the hospital is based, and gives dozens of grants each year to local organizations focused on community well-being.

As we work on producing this ranking in the years ahead, we aim to focus even more deliberately on issues of equity and on how well communities surrounding hospitals are thriving—so we’ll incorporate measures of social determinants as well as evaluate access to care. There is a good and urgent reason for this, as the American Heart Association’s groundbreaking presidential advisory this week acknowledges: Our current wide health disparity is rooted, in large part, in structural bias, and we have the power and obligation to root it out. So, under the principle of what’s measured is what matters, Fortune and IBM Watson Health are partnering with researchers at Johns Hopkins University and others to incorporate measures of community health and equity into next year’s hospital rankings. (For more, please see the related commentary by Kyu Rhee, Irene Dankwa-Mullan, and Eduardo Sanchez, published today.)

The great pandemic of 2020 has revealed the challenges of a medical system stretched to its limits. The hospitals below show that, sometimes, care can reach new limits as well. —Clifton Leaf

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Top community hospitals

1. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center

Location: Medford, Ore.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 2
Heart failure (HF) rank: 4
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank: 8
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank: 2
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 6
Website

2. Columbus Regional Health

Location: Columbus, Ind.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 1
Heart failure (HF) rank:
6
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
10
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
3
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

3. Sentara RMH Medical Center

Location: Harrisonburg, Va.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 5
Heart failure (HF) rank:
1
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
9
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
5
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

4. McLaren Northern Michigan

Location: Petoskey, Mich.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 4
Heart failure (HF) rank:
8
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
2
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
8
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

5. University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center

Location: Towson, Md.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 7
Heart failure (HF) rank:
7
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
1
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
9
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
12
Website

6. Mercy Iowa City

Location: Iowa City
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 3
Heart failure (HF) rank:
5
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
4
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
10
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

7. St. Joseph’s Hospital

Location: Tampa
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 6
Heart failure (HF) rank:
10
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
3
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
7
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

8. Parkwest Medical Center

Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 8
Heart failure (HF) rank:
3
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
6
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
6
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
8
Website

9. Thibodaux Regional Health System

Location: Thibodaux, La.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 10
Heart failure (HF) rank:
2
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
5
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
4
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

10. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center—Round Rock

Location: Round Rock, Texas
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 9
Heart failure (HF) rank:
9
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
7
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
1
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

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Top teaching hospitals with a cardiovascular residency program

1. Riverside Methodist Hospital

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 2
Heart failure (HF) rank:
15
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
7
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
2
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
9
Website

2. University Hospital

Location: Madison
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 8
Heart failure (HF) rank:
11
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
5
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
5
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
10
Website

3. Intermountain Medical Center

Location: Murray, Utah
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 1
Heart failure (HF) rank:
4
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
8
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
16
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

4. Mayo Clinic Rochester

Location: Rochester, Minn.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 3
Heart failure (HF) rank:
6
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
13
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
11
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
9
Website

5. UNC REX Hospital

Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 4
Heart failure (HF) rank:
16
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
4
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
13
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

6. Mercy Medical Center

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 9
Heart failure (HF) rank:
1
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
15
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
17
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

7. Ascension Borgess Hospital

Location: Kalamazoo
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 5
Heart failure (HF) rank:
9
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
19
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
6
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

8. The Christ Hospital

Location: Cincinnati
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 16
Heart failure (HF) rank:
7
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
9
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
8
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
14
Website

9. Summa Health System—Akron Campus

Location: Akron
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 11
Heart failure (HF) rank:
8
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
17
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
9
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

10. WakeMed Raleigh Campus

Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 18
Heart failure (HF) rank:
12
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
3
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
14
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

11. Baystate Medical Center

Location: Springfield, Mass.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 14
Heart failure (HF) rank:
18
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
6
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
3
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
8
Website

12. New York–Presbyterian Queens

Location: Flushing, N.Y.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 15
Heart failure (HF) rank:
13
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
10
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
10
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

13. St. Joseph’s Health

Location: Syracuse, N.Y.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 20
Heart failure (HF) rank:
19
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
2
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
1
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

14. Duke Regional Hospital

Location: Durham, N.C.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 10
Heart failure (HF) rank:
2
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
11
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
19
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

15. McLaren Macomb

Location: Mount Clemens, Mich.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 17
Heart failure (HF) rank:
10
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
18
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
4
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

16. UAB Hospital

Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 13
Heart failure (HF) rank:
5
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
16
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
15
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

17. Ascension St. Vincent Hospital—Indianapolis

Location: Indianapolis
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 6
Heart failure (HF) rank:
14
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
14
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
18
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
8
Website

18. MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

Location: Des Moines
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 7
Heart failure (HF) rank:
3
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
20
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
20
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
6
Website

19. Kettering Medical Center

Location: Kettering, Ohio
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 12
Heart failure (HF) rank:
17
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
12
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
7
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
8
Website

20. Sanford USD Medical Center

Location: Sioux Falls, S.D.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 19
Heart failure (HF) rank:
20
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
1
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
12
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

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Top teaching hospitals without a cardiovascular residency program

1. Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center

Location: Reno
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 2
Heart failure (HF) rank:
1
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
19
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
11
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
2
Website

2. Mission Hospital

Location: Asheville, N.C.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 1
Heart failure (HF) rank:
17
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
5
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
16
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
14
Website

3. Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Location: Wausau, Wis.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 12
Heart failure (HF) rank:
4
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
16
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
3
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
13
Website

4. Atrium Health Pineville

Location: Charlotte
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 15
Heart failure (HF) rank:
8
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
8
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
5
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
2
Website

5. Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola

Location: Pensacola, Fla.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 4
Heart failure (HF) rank:
9
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
18
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
1
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

6. Baton Rouge General

Location: Baton Rouge
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 6
Heart failure (HF) rank:
16
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
1
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
20
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

7. Lee Memorial Hospital

Location: Fort Myers, Fla.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 11
Heart failure (HF) rank:
11
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
13
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
8
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
8
Website

8. St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital

Location: Ann Arbor
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 10
Heart failure (HF) rank:
2
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
11
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
18
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
11
Website

9. Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center

Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 14
Heart failure (HF) rank:
10
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
9
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
12
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

10. St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center

Location: Boise
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 3
Heart failure (HF) rank:
12
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
14
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
13
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
14
Website

11. Eisenhower Medical Center

Location: Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 13
Heart failure (HF) rank:
20
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
6
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
4
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

12. Mount Carmel St. Ann’s

Location: Westerville, Ohio
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 9
Heart failure (HF) rank:
6
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
12
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
17
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

13. Boone Hospital Center

Location: Columbia, Mo.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 18
Heart failure (HF) rank:
18
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
3
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
6
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
2
Website

14. Bronson Methodist Hospital

Location: Kalamazoo
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 7
Heart failure (HF) rank:
14
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
10
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
14
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

15. Ocala Regional Medical Center

Location: Ocala, Fla.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 16
Heart failure (HF) rank:
15
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
4
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
10
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
6
Website

16. CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System

Location: Texarkana, Texas
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 5
Heart failure (HF) rank:
7
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
20
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
9
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
1
Website

17. Halifax Health Medical Center

Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 17
Heart failure (HF) rank:
13
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
2
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
15
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
4
Website

18. North Mississippi Medical Center—Tupelo

Location: Tupelo, Miss.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 20
Heart failure (HF) rank:
5
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
17
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
2
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
2
Website

19. Grand Strand Medical Center

Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 19
Heart failure (HF) rank:
3
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
15
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
7
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
3
Website

20. Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Location: Sarasota
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rank: 8
Heart failure (HF) rank:
19
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rank:
7
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rank:
19
Total number of years on 50 Top list: 
6
Website

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50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals Methodology

Learn about the methodology for the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list here.

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See also: 100 Top Hospitals

In June 2020, Fortune and IBM Watson Health published the 100 Top Hospitals list, which featured the 40 Top Teaching Hospitals and 60 Top Community Hospitals in the U.S., as well as the 15 Top Health Systems.

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IBM, Watson Health, and 100 Top Hospitals are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States and other countries. FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited; registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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