State Health Department Releases Reports on Cardiac Surgery

New York First in Nation to Release Heart Valve and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Data

Albany, May 6, 2004 — New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today announced the unprecedented release of two comprehensive state reports that show children and adults in need of cardiac surgery consistently receive high quality care from New York’s surgeons and hospitals.

New York continues to demonstrate its leadership in this area as the first state in the nation to release data and surgical outcomes specific to adult cardiac bypass and valve procedures (combined procedures), heart valve-only procedures and pediatric congenital heart surgeries performed in hospitals throughout the state. In 1992, New York was the first state in the nation to release data and surgical outcomes specific to adult heart bypass surgeries.

"New York State is a leader in setting high standards for cardiac surgery and in tracking outcomes and sharing performance data with patients, hospitals, and physicians," Dr. Novello said. "New York was the first in the nation to release cardiac bypass surgery data years ago and, today, again is the first state in the nation to release this cardiac information on adult heart valve and pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Governor’s commitment to advancing quality health care initiatives and information that will help consumers make better informed health care choices. Overall, the report highlights the commitment of hospitals and surgeons to bring the highest quality of care possible to patients."

The unprecedented reports provide consumers with risk-adjusted data and surgical outcomes on adult cardiac valve surgery, and, separately, pediatric congenital cardiac surgery statewide. The reports show that 19 of 34 hospitals performing adult cardiac artery bypass surgery (CABG) reported risk-adjusted mortality rates below the statewide average of 2.32 percent. In addition, eight of 16 hospitals performing pediatric congenital cardiac surgery reported risk-adjusted mortality rates below the statewide average of 5.35 percent.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report for 1998-2000 provides information on risk factors and outcomes for isolated cardiac artery bypass surgery, valve surgery and the two procedures performed in combination. In 2000, New York’s hospitals performed 18,121 adult cardiac artery bypass surgeries, reporting a mortality rate of 2.32 percent — representing one of the lowest rates ever reported. This 2000 figure is an improvement over the 3.52 percent mortality rate recorded in 1989, when the Department first began reporting CABG surgical outcomes.

The State Health Department report provides risk-adjusted mortality rates for each of the 34 hospitals approved to provide coronary artery bypass surgery in New York State.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report was expanded to include Valve-only and Valve/CABG procedures for 1998-2000. The statewide average mortality rate for the 18,125 combined Valve-only and Valve/CABG procedures performed in New York State was 7.13 percent.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report for 1998-2000 also presents information on eight different categories of valve procedures performed in New York State. For each hospital, the data includes the different types of valve procedures performed based on hospital reported discharge data and the number of in-hospital patient deaths for each of those procedures.

The Pediatric Congenital Cardiac Surgery Report for 1997-1999 summarizes risk factors and outcomes for pediatric patients undergoing surgery to correct congenital heart defects. The unprecedented report represents the first such published analysis of its kind in the nation. The report was developed from information reported by hospitals to the New York State Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Reporting System.

Between 1997 and 1999 there were 4,710 congenital cardiac surgeries performed in New York State on patients under the age of 18. In 1999, the statewide mortality rate for patients undergoing these surgeries in New York’s 16 hospitals was 5.35 percent.

The pediatric cardiac data provides risk-adjusted mortality rates for each of the 16 hospitals providing pediatric congenital cardiac surgery in New York State by collecting data on approximately 55 different diagnoses, all of which have a certain degree of risk associated with them. Diagnosis-specific data and case volume is highlighted in the report.

In a concerted effort to further enhance the quality of care provided to patients in need of cardiac surgery, the State Health Department encourages hospitals and surgeons to review and utilize the data specific information to continually improve their cardiac surgery programs and services.

The New York State Cardiac Advisory Committee which includes nationally recognized cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and health care professionals in related fields analyzed and contributed to the information contained in the two reports highlighted above.

The State Health Department has provided copies of its adult cardiac surgery and pediatric cardiac surgery reports to all hospitals and cardiologists in New York State. The reports are available in public libraries statewide, and the data is posted on the State Health Department’s Web site at (www.nyhealth.gov), click on "Information for Consumers" and then "Heart Disease." The following links will allow you to access the reports directly on the Department’s web site, go to:

Copies of the reports may also be obtained by writing to: Cardiac Report, Box 2000, Albany, New York 12220.