Bellin earns distinction as a top cardiovascular hospital


GREEN BAY – Bellin Health is one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, and the only one in Northeastern Wisconsin with the distinction, according to a study by Thomson Reuters.

The study examined the performance of more than 1,000 hospitals by analyzing outcomes for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and procedures such as angioplasties.

This is the fifth time in just over a decade that Bellin has been recognized with this honor. This year’s winners were announced earlier this month in Modern Healthcare magazine. The recognition comes after a federal study that showed Bellin Hospital had one of the lowest mortality rates in the country for heart attack patients over the last three years.

“This distinction helps illustrate for our patients and the Northeastern Wisconsin community in general how committed Bellin Health is to providing high-quality cardiovascular care,” said Andrea Werner, vice president, Bellin Hospital Heart & Vascular Center. “It is further evidence of our efforts to consistently meet, set or surpass national benchmarks for clinical processes, outcomes, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.”

This year’s crop of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals have continued to deliver excellent care and improve their performance in a challenging economic climate, according to Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals program at Thomson Reuters.

“The hospitals in this study have provided measurably better care and are more efficient than their peers, demonstrating incredibly strong focus by hospital leadership at a time when the health care system is steeped in volatility,” she said.

The study shows that 97 percent of cardiovascular inpatients in U.S. hospitals survive and approximately 96 percent remain complication-free, reflecting improved cardiovascular care across-the-board over the past year. The 50 top hospitals’ performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:

• Better risk-adjusted survival rates (23 percent fewer deaths than non-winning hospitals for bypass surgery patients)
• Lower complications indices (40 percent lower rate of heart failure complications)
• Fewer patients readmitted to the hospital after 30 days
• Shorter hospital visits and lower costs. Top hospitals discharge bypass patients nearly a full day sooner and spend $4,200 less per bypass case than non-winners.
• Increased use of internal mammary artery for coronary artery bypass surgeries. Top hospitals have increased their use of this recommended procedure from 88 to 96 percent.

The study evaluated general and applicable specialty, short-term, acute care, and non-federal U.S. hospitals treating a broad spectrum of cardiology patients.

Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2009 and 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data, Medicare cost reports, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare data. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

About Bellin Health
Bellin Health,, is an integrated health care delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, 26 Bellin Health Family Medical Center primary care physician clinics, and several retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin also operates Bellin Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization with more than 200 specialty physician members, the Oconto Hospital & Medical Center, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Bellin Fitness Center with four locations, and Bellin College. With its 3,080 employees, Bellin Health is known for its emphasis on preventive health care and is the region’s leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine.

About Thomson Reuters
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