Heart Disease and Hospital Deaths: An Empirical Study - American Board of Medical Specialties

The study examines mortality rates of heart patients that survive their first day in the hospital. Three groups of patients diagnosed with atherosclerosis are examined: 1) those that undergo a CABG operation, 2) those that undergo a cardiac catheterization, but not CABG, and 3) those that experience the AMI, but don’t receive any treatment. Treating physician characteristics are board certification status and the volume of similar patients. Hospital characteristics include the presence of coronary care unit, teaching status, size, and volume of similar patients. Other factors taken into consideration are severity of illness, patient age, sex, and comorbidities. The findings reveal that AMI patients are more likely to survive if their attending physicians treat high volumes of AMI patients, and when they are board certified in family or internal medicine. CABG/cardiac catheterization patients are more likely to survive in hospitals that handle high volumes of such procedures. Further, AMI patients in teaching facilities are less likely to die, just as in facilities that have a cardiac care unit. Finally, age and comorbidity variables performed as expected.

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