State Health Department Issues Report on Angioplasty in New York

Report Shows New Yorkers Undergoing Angioplasty More Than 99 Percent Likely to Survive

First Report to Evaluate Physicians Outcomes for Performing Angioplasty

Albany, November 16, 2001 – The New York State Health Department today released its 1995–1997 Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI or angioplasty) report showing statewide results from New York hospitals and physicians regarding angioplasty, a procedure used to clear blocked coronary arteries, which has a more than 99 percent survival rate, and patients are discharged from the hospital within days of the procedure.

State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., said, "This low death rate reflects very positively on the quality of cardiac care available within New York State, and it should be reassuring to patients who may need this procedure. We know from experience with the Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery report that we have issued annually since 1990 that it enabled hospitals to use comparative data in their quality improvement efforts which has led to significantly lower mortality from bypass surgery. We are hoping this report will help to build on that success."

According to the State's comprehensive angioplasty report, the risk–adjusted mortality rate for patients undergoing angioplasty was less than one percent in 1997, the latest year in which data are available. The overwhelming success of this medically advanced procedure has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of procedures being performed on patients, up from 18,558 in 1994 to 29,516 in 1997. During the three–year period, 1995 through 1997, 76,877 PCI procedures were performed in New York with a risk–adjusted mortality rate of 0.92 percent.

The 35–page report, provides the risk adjusted mortality rates for 33 hospitals approved to perform PCI or angioplasty in New York State during1997. Mortality rates were also published for the first time for cardiologists who performed the procedure during the three year period, from 1995 through 1997. PCI is a procedure sometimes recommended for patients with coronary artery disease to restore blood flow to coronary arteries that have become blocked by the build–up of plaque.

Risk–adjusted mortality rates for individual hospitals, ranged from zero to 2.15 percent in 1997. The risk–adjusted death rates are calculated by taking into account each patient's unique health history, including over 40 personal and medical factors that may increase a patients risk for complications during or immediately following the procedure.

The Department's annual Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG) report established the benefits of sharing performance data among hospitals and physicians. This approach was expanded to include PCI procedures being performed by hospitals statewide. The number of PCI's, which are also used to treat coronary artery disease, now exceeds the volume for CABG.

Both reports reflect the Department's continued commitment to providing this information to patients and their physicians with important health related information.

In 1997, North Shore University Hospital had a risk–adjusted mortality rate of 0.80 percent, performing 2,342 PCI's. University Hospital of Brooklyn experienced no deaths among the 300 patients treated. Two hospitals, Weill Cornell and Montefiore Medical Center, Einstein Division have significantly higher than average mortality rates in the "all case" assessment. Risk–adjusted rates for these two facilities were 1.62 percent and 2.15 percent respectively.

The report also evaluates outcomes for patients undergoing non–emergency angioplasty. This group of patients – which excludes those who are in shock, have a very low blood pressure, or have had a heart attack within 24 hours – are more medically stable. The statewide death rate for non–emergency patients in 1997 was about one–half of one percent or 0.51 percent. For non–emergency procedures, Montefiore Medical Center, Einstein Division had a risk–adjusted mortality rate of 1.46 percent which was significantly above the state average. Preliminary data indicate that outcomes at Montefiore Medical Center and Weill Cornell have improved substantially since 1997.

New York's comprehensive Percutaneous Coronary Interventions Reporting System represents the largest state–oriented collection of audited data on patient outcomes from angioplasty nationwide. Data collection and analyses are carried out under the guidance of the New York State Cardiac Advisory Committee, which is comprised of nationally prominent cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other medical specialists. The American College of Cardiology collects similar data on angioplasty procedures from hospitals on a voluntary basis nationwide. New York is the only State in the nation that collects and reports information on PCI.

"Governor Pataki has made it a trademark of his Administration to get information to the public. By providing this data to hospitals, physicians and to the public, it will result in better care and a better educated public about health care and specifically angioplasty in New York State," Dr. Novello said.

Copies of the Percutaneous Coronary Interventions Report and the Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Report issued by the Department of Health are posted on the Health Department's Internet web site ( or may be obtained by writing to: Cardiac Reports, Box 2000, Albany, New York 12220.

11/16/01–120 OPA