Hospital heart attack deaths plummet
The overall proportion of hospital patients who died in the hospital after a heart attack fell by 37 percent between 2000 and 2007, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The rate fell from 106 per 1,000 patients to 67 per 1,000 patients during the period. Medicare patients experienced the largest decline (37 percent) and Medicaid patients the smallest (27 percent). While the privately insured and uninsured rates fell at a similar pace (32 percent), the uninsured were much more likely to die from a heart attack (93 versus 67 deaths per 1,000 heart attack admissions).
The Agency also found that:
- From 2000 to 2007, Midwestern hospitals went from having the highest heart attack death rate in the country to the lowest (from 112 to 63 deaths per 1,000 heart attack admissions).
- Western hospitals moved into the number 1 spot for heart attack deaths in 2007 (71 deaths per 1,000 heart attack admissions). In 2000, they were second-highest.
- The death rate from heart attacks fell the most in hospitals with 500 beds or more, and by 2007 was almost 1.5 times lower than that of hospitals with fewer than 100 beds (60 versus 87 deaths per 1,000 heart attack admissions).
These findings are based on data from page 55 in AHRQ's 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report (http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr09.htm), which tracks the health care system through quality measures.
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