Lahey Clinic named only Boston-area hospital on list of lowest heart attack mortality in U.S.

Release Date: 08/26/2008

Margie Coloian
Communications and Marketing
Phone: (781) 744-3859

Lahey Clinic named only Boston-area hospital on list of lowest heart attack mortality in U.S.

BURLINGTON, MA—The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data on mortality rates for heart attacks, or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) by hospital, citing Lahey Clinic as having one of the best rates nationally. Lahey is the only Boston-area hospital to be named to the short list of nine hospitals that performed better than the national average.

Lahey's mortality rate was 12.6 percent in 2006-2007; the national mortality rate was 16.1 percent. Mortality rates are defined as a patient's risk of dying after an AMI while hospitalized and soon after discharge. The formula used by CMS in its calculations includes data from 35 million Medicare patients in the nation. Some 198 Medicare patient records from Lahey were examined by CMS.

“We are delighted with these findings,” said David M. Barrett, MD, president and chief executive officer. “Our high rating demonstrates again that Lahey's team approach to care, coupled with strict adherence to best practices, translates into high quality care for our patients.”

CMS has released heart attack information for hospitals in the past, by simply ranking individual hospitals as better, worse or no different than the national average. But the agency has always excluded individual hospital death rates. The new information is particularly useful to consumers who are interested in broader hospital information as they make their health care delivery choices.

“Public reporting of outcomes provides additional incentive to continually examine and deliver the best treatments for heart attack patients,” said Richard Nesto, MD, chair, Cardiovascular Medicine, and chair, Division of Internal Medicine. “At Lahey Clinic, we ensure guideline-driven patient care programs in a time-efficient manner to optimize outcomes.”

Lahey Clinic has developed a comprehensive program to deliver heart attack care as quickly as possible. The key elements of the program include application of treatment protocols, a high skill level of cardiologists who perform emergency angioplasty, and optimal discharge planning to ensure patients go home with the proper treatments. Also, Lahey is a high volume center for cardiac procedures, which lends itself to excellence, in part, based on frequency.

About Lahey Clinic
Lahey Clinic, a physician-led, nonprofit group practice, is world-renowned for innovative technology, pioneering medical treatment, and leading-edge research. A teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, the Clinic provides quality health care in virtually every specialty and subspecialty, from primary care to cancer diagnosis and treatment to kidney and liver transplantation.