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UnitedHealthcare to rate hospital cardiac care

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Following on from a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine documenting a need for more “round-the-clock” access to quality urgent cardiac care, UnitedHealthcare launched a plan to certify hospitals as “premium” sites based on cardiac performance. Hospitals can earn the designation by submitting performance/outcome data based on their use of implantable cardiac defibrillators to a national database called the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Registry.

The registry measures hospitals’ use of ICDs and in-hospital outcomes by tracking the devices’ performance and reliability once implanted into patients, information that can help clarify which patients are the best candidates for ICDs.

  • Weekend versus Weekday Admission and Mortality from Myocardial Infarction, The New England Journal of Medicine. 356;11. March 15, 2007
    Report concludes that for patients with myocardial infarction, admission on weekends is associated with higher mortality and lower use of invasive cardiac procedures. Their findings suggest that the higher mortality on weekends is mediated in part by the lower rate of invasive procedures, and they speculate that better access to care on weekends could improve the outcome for patients with acute myocardial infarction.

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