Globe story on catheterization death rates.

Health care payers and regulators have been trying for many years to use mortality — or death rates — to measure quality. Here’s a Globe story about their latest attempt — this one looking at cardiac caths and angioplasty.

Here’s the state’s site.  

Here’s the Globe

Deaths lead to scrutiny of 2 heart units

State to watch MGH, Worcester hospital

State public health officials have begun monitoring heart programs at Massachusetts General Hospital and at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester after discovering that they had high death rates in 2007 among patients who underwent cardiac catheterization procedures.

An analysis of mortality data showed that 43 of 1,543 patients died at Mass. General and 16 of 112 patients died at St. Vincent – death rates significantly higher than the state average for patients who undergo the procedure to remove blockages in their coronary arteries. The state said the analysis, performed by a Harvard biostatistician, took into account the severity of the illnesses of the patients treated at each hospital.

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