June 26, 2014

UMass Memorial ranked among best for heart surgery

UMass Memorial Medical Center is one of the 15 highest-rated hospitals in the United States for patients who need heart surgery, according to Consumer Reports' inaugural ratings of heart-surgery hospitals.

The ratings, which look at heart bypass surgery and aortic valve replacement surgery, cover more than 400 hospitals nationwide. UMass Memorial (UMMMC) made the list, as did Baystate Medical Center of Springfield.

"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 Dr. John Santa, medical director of Consumer Reports Health, in a statement. "Hospitals and doctors should make their information accessible and understandable, so families can make informed choices when they make life and death decisions."

Consumer Reports said its analysis found that top-rated hospitals often aren't household names. Of the more than 400 hospitals that make their data available to Consumer Reports, only 15 earned top scores in both heart-valve and bypass surgery.

Stanley Tam, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center, said UMMMC is proud of its ranking. "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," he said.

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