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UMass Memorial Cardiac Surgery Programs Ranked Among Best in U.S. by Consumer Reports

WORCESTER, MA - Consumer Reports has released its first-ever Ratings of hospitals for heart surgery, and UMass Memorial Medical Center is featured in the list of the top 15 in the country. The Ratings, which look at heart bypass surgery and aortic valve replacement surgery, cover more than 400 hospitals nationwide.

 “We are proud and pleased that our cardiac surgery program is being recognized as one of the top in the country,” said Stanley Tam, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center. “We have built a dedicated and high performing cardiac surgery team that is second-to-none in delivering the highest quality care to some of the most complex cardiac cases in Massachusetts with excellent outcomes, having very low mortality and complication rates.”

 “It’s extremely difficult for consumers to find out which hospitals and surgeons have the best result with their specific heart procedure. But it shouldn’t be so hard,” said John Santa, M.D., medical director of Consumer Reports Health. “Hospitals and doctors should make their information accessible and understandable, so families can make informed choices when they make life and death decisions.”

 The information in these heart surgery Ratings comes from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), which represents physicians who operate on the heart and other organs in the chest. More than 1,000 U.S. hospitals report to the STS, but only about 400 of those facilities allowed the STS to share the data with Consumer Reports.

  “All hospitals know this information,” Santa says. “Those that have agreed to share, especially those with low scores, should be applauded for their commitment to transparency. Those that haven’t shared should make it available. Otherwise, it seems like they have something to hide.”

 Consumer Reports rated hospitals on two heart surgeries: traditional surgical aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, an equally serious operation done to treat blocked coronary arteries. The Ratings are based on the gold standard in tracking hospital performance: data from patients’ medical records showing whether patients survived the procedure and how they fared on other important measures, including complications. To create a level playing field, the data was adjusted for the health of patients because certain hospitals treat more older, sicker patients than others.

 The 15 hospitals that earned a top score in both bypass and valve replacement surgery (in alphabetical order) are: 

  • Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.
  • Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
  • Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center, Clackamas, Ore.
  •  Kaleida Health (Gates Vascular Institute at Buffalo General Medical Center), Buffalo, N.Y.
  •  Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Tyler, Texas
  •  Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City, Calif.
  • Spectrum Health-Grand Rapids (Meijer Heart Center), Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ypsilanti, Mich.
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana, Indianapolis
  • Swedish Medical Center-Cherry Hill Campus, Seattle
  • The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, Plano, Texas
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, Mass.
  • Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, N.J.

 For all media inquiries contact our media relations department; email media@umassmemorial.org or call 508-793-5726