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Methodology for the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals 2021

50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals

To determine the hospitals included on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated over 951 short-term, acute care, nonfederal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and measures data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website.

The focus of the study is on hospitals that offer both medical and surgical treatment options for cardiovascular patients, specifically those with Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) or Heart Failure (HF), and those having a bypass surgery (CABG) or angioplasty (PCI). To build the database, we included all hospitals that had, in the two most recent data years combined, at least 30 unique cases in each of the four patient groups: Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Heart Failure (HF), Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG), and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI).  Each patient group is mutually exclusive, by design. To define patient diagnoses, ICD-10-CM codes are used. For more information, detailed methodologies, and patient group definitions go to www.100tophospitals.com.  Hospitals do not apply for awards, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

Final rank
Final rank is determined based on performance for all individual measures. Hospitals are ranked within their class definition group. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.

Cardiovascular Hospital Measures
23 measures distributed across four patient populations:

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) 
  • Heart Failure (HF)
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Rank
There are six AMI performance measures in the scorecard. Measures include (1) risk-adjusted inpatient (IP) mortality, (2) 30-day mortality, (3) 30-day readmissions, (4) Average length of stay, (5) Average cost per case and (6) 30-day episode of care payment.

Heart Failure (HF)
There are six HF performance measures in the scorecard. Measures include (1) risk-adjusted inpatient (IP) mortality, (2) 30-day mortality, (3) 30-day readmissions, (4) Average length of stay, (5) Average cost per case and (6) 30-day episode of care payment.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
There are six CABG performance measures in the scorecard. Measures include (1) risk-adjusted inpatient (IP) mortality, (2) risk-adjusted complications, (3) 30-day mortality, (4) 30-day readmissions, (5) Average length of stay, (6) Average cost per case.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) 
There are four PCI performance measures in the scorecard. Measures include (1) risk-adjusted inpatient (IP) mortality, (2) risk-adjusted complications, (3) Average length of stay, (4) Average cost per case.

Patient Experience
Overall HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey) score is a new measure that was incorporated this year.  This measure is not included in the ranking of the individual patient groups but is included in the final ranking of the hospital.

Stars key:

  • 5 stars (★★★★★) = Hospital performing at top quintile (>80-100%) within their peer group
  • 4 stars (★★★★) = Hospital performing within second quintile (>60-80%) within their peer group
  • 3 stars (★★★) = Hospital performing within third quintile (>40-60%) within their peer group
  • 2 stars (★★) = Hospital performing within fourth quintile (>20-40%) within their peer group
  • 1 star (★) = Hospital performing in the bottom quintile (0-20%) within their peer group

Class definition
Each hospital is defined within a class based on their bed size and teaching status.

Teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency programs: 277
Teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency programs: 
341
Community hospitals: 
333

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