State Health Department Releases New Cardiac Surgery Data

ALBANY, NY, October 28, 2005 - New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today announced the release of a comprehensive state report that shows adults in need of cardiac surgery consistently receive high quality care from New York's surgeons and hospitals.

"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. "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."

The report provides consumers with risk-adjusted data and surgical outcomes on adult cardiac bypass and valve surgery statewide. The report shows that in 2003 the statewide mortality rate for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) was 1.61 percent. This represents a dramatic reduction in in-hospital mortality when compared with the 2002 rate of 2.27 percent. As a group, the 37 hospitals in New York State performing these procedures had excellent outcomes, with only one hospital having a risk-adjusted mortality rate that was significantly higher than the statewide average.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report for 2001-2003 provides information on risk factors and outcomes for isolated cardiac artery bypass surgery, valve surgery and the two procedures performed in combination. In 2003, New York's hospitals performed 14,692 adult cardiac artery bypass surgeries. This 2003 figure is a significant improvement over the 3.52 percent mortality rate recorded in 1989, when the Department first began reporting CABG surgical outcomes.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report also includes valve-only and valve/CABG procedures for 2001-2003. The statewide average mortality rate for the 19,525 combined valve-only and valve/CABG procedures performed in New York State was 6.43 percent.

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report for 2001-2003 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.

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 analyze and use 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 report highlighted above.

The State Health Department will provide copies of its adult cardiac surgery report to all hospitals and cardiologists in New York State. The report has also been posted on the State Health Department's Web site at: www.health.ny.gov.