The Relation between the Volume of Coronary Angioplasty Procedures at Hospitals Treating Medicare Beneficiaries and Short-Term Mortality

James G. Jollis, Eric D. Peterson, Daniel B. Mark, S. Robert Collins, David B. Pryor, Elizabeth R. Delong, Lawrence H. Muhlbaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have found that hospitals at which more procedures, such as coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) and other vascular surgery, are performed have lower rates of mortality related to these procedures than hospitals where fewer such procedures are performed. Methods: We examined the relation between the number of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) procedures performed at hospitals (volume) and short-term mortality in a population of 217,836 Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age or older who underwent angioplasty in the United States from 1987 through 1990. Results: The unadjusted in-hospital mortality among patients who underwent PTCA increased from 2.5 percent among the 10 percent of patients treated in hospitals with the highest volume of such procedures to 3.9 percent among the 10 percent of patients treated in hospitals with the lowest volume. The rate of bypass surgery after PTCA also increased, from 2.8 percent among patients in the highest-volume hospitals to 5.3 percent among those in the lowest-volume hospitals. Higher rates of mortality and CABG persisted in all the groups of patients treated in hospitals that performed fewer than 100 angioplasty procedures per year in Medicare beneficiaries; this volume in Medicare beneficiaries can be extrapolated to an overall annual volume of 200 to 400 angioplasty procedures. In a logistic-regression model, the volume of PTCA procedures at a hospital was found to be a highly significant predictor of in-hospital mortality (P<0.001). These results suggest that if the hospitals with the lowest volume had achieved the experience and technical results of the highest-volume hospitals, 381 fewer patients would have undergone CABG and there would have been 300 fewer in-hospital deaths in the population we studied. Conclusions: Hospitals that perform more PTCA procedures have lower short-term mortality rates after the procedure. These data provide evidence in support of the regionalization of angioplasty services., Previous studies have found an inverse relation between the number of selected procedures performed at a hospital (volume) and mortality after the procedure13. Hospitals that perform more procedures – such as coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), other vascular surgery, or hip replacement – have lower rates of mortality related to the procedure. This lower rate may be due to the improved technique that results from greater experience, selective referral of patients to high-volume centers, or treatment of sicker patients by low-volume hospitals. On the basis of these studies, minimal annual volumes of procedures for hospitals and physicians and the…

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1629
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume331
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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