MGH ranks among highest in Massachusetts for PCI death rates

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The death rate associated with PCI in heart attack patients at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston was more than twice the state average, according to an analysis released by the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy. However, the hospital fared much better in its CABG rates, according to a separate analysis by same organization.

Researchers analyzed data collected from all acute-care, non-federal hospitals in Massachusetts performing cardiac surgery since 2002 and coronary interventions since 2003, under a contract by the Massachusetts Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality.

The PCI Cohort report found that of the 14,063 PCI admissions in Massachusetts in 2007, 209 patients died during the same admissions as the PCI. Researchers also found that the death rate for patients who suffereda heart attack and underwent PCI hit 12.6 percent in 2007 at MGH, compared with 5.5 percent for 22 other hospitals statewide. The rate for MGH represents the midpoint of a range that could be as low as 8 percent or as high as 20 percent.

Specifically, the authors wrote that MGH's in-hospital mortality rate for PCI procedures was "higher than expected" for both STEMI and non-STEMI cases.

As a result of these findings, the Boston Globe reported that state officials have begun monitoring heart programs at MGH, which showed that 43 out of 1,543 PCI patients died at the hospital-death rates significantly higher than the state average.

Yet, the Cardiac Surgery Cohort report includes an analysis of 11,033 hospital coronary bypass graft (CABG) admissions from Oct. 1, 2004 through Sept. 30, 2007, and shows more positive outcomes for the hospital. Of the 3,396 isolated CABG surgery admissions in 2007 in Massachusetts, 50 patients died within 30 days of their surgery. For 2007, MGH had 373 cases of isolated CABG surgery admissions, with an expected mortality rate of 1.14 percent, which was lower than the state average of 1.30 percent.