Massachusetts' first annual report card on coronary artery bypass surgery found no statistical difference in unadjusted 30-day death rates among hospitals throughout the state. The number of surgeries performed at 11 hospitals with established programs ranged from 149 a year to 718 a year. Thirteen hospitals were included in the overall study. The unadjusted mortality rate 30 days after surgery was 2.19% -- 101 patients out of 4,603 admissions died soon after the procedure in 2002. State health officials said the 30-day mortality rate was lower than in other states.
Bypass surgeries accounted for more than half of all surgeries performed in Massachusetts in 2002 and 60% of all cardiac surgeries. Three-quarters of the patients were male, most were white and more than half were 65 or older. The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Legislation passed in 2000 required the department to oversee the development of new open-heart surgery programs at community hospitals around the state. Read the report card. -- by Cinda Becker