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Aurora St. Lukes Medical Center Named One Of The Top 100 Hospitals For Heart Care

Monday, November 17, 2008

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center has been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters. Aurora is the only southeastern Wisconsin hospital to receive this recognition, which was announced in today’s issue of Modern Healthcare.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the best in the country,” said Mary O’Brien, Aurora St. Luke’s chief administrative officer. “This reflects the experience and expertise of the physicians who practice at St. Luke’s and the quality of our clinical staff.”

Award winners had higher survival rates, kept more patients complication-free and achieved these results at a lower cost than other hospitals. Thomson Reuters estimates if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those who were treated at the hospitals named to its 100 Top Hospitals list, an additional 120,000 lives would be saved each year.

Dr. Tanvir Bajwa, director of the interventional cardiology fellowship program at Aurora St. Luke’s, said St. Luke’s offers complex patients access to high-caliber specialists as well as the most effective, cutting-edge options available.

“We’ve always believed this is the best institution in the Midwest, if not in the country,” Dr. Bajwa said. “We have one of the largest cardiology teaching programs in the Midwest, which allows us to provide the best care for our patients.”

This is the 4th year Aurora St. Luke’s has earned this recognition.

The study -- “2008 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success” -- examined the performance of 970 hospitals by analyzing clinical outcomes for patients diagnosed with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and angioplasties.

“These hospitals provide enormous value to their communities because heart disease is still the nation’s number one killer,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs in the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. “They have set the new national standard for cardiovascular disease outcomes, process of care, efficiency, and lower costs.”

The study, in its tenth year, found that the 100 Top Hospitals cardiovascular award winners, as a group, performed 63 percent more bypass surgeries and 42 percent more angioplasties than peer hospitals. This may suggest that performance of bypass surgery is increasingly performed in centers of excellence.

While the average mortality rate for cardiovascular patients is very low (3.4 percent), the mortality rate for bypass surgery was 26 percent lower in the 100 Top Hospitals cardiovascular winners. The award-winning hospitals demonstrated higher performance on the evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and cost $1,542 less per case, on average.

The 100 Top Hospitals study focused on short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2006 and 2007 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, 2007 Medicare cost reports, and data from other sources. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted medical mortality, risk-adjusted surgical mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures score, percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, procedure volume, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Myrle Croasdale (414-649-3917, 414-222-4332 pager)

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