Death rates for coronary artery bypass patients in New York state have dropped every year since 1989, according to the state's annual Cardiac Surgery Report.
The average statewide mortality rate for all 31 hospitals approved to perform cardiac bypasses dropped to 2.49 deaths per 100 patients in 1994-the latest available performance data-from 3.52 in 1989.
The report also lists mortality rates for surgeons who performed more than 200 coronary bypass operations during the three years from 1992 to 1994.
A total of 18,051 cardiac bypasses were performed in 1994, a 12.6% increase from 1992. Death rates at two hospitals-St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, and St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn,-fell significantly below the 1994 state average.
New York's Bellevue Hospital Center was the only hospital whose mortality rate significantly exceeded the state average.