High-risk patients are less likely to undergo coronary angioplasty in New York, where there is public reporting of cardiologists' mortality rates, than in Michigan, where there is not, according to a study in this week's Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The authors said one possible explanation may be that New York cardiologists are more reluctant to intervene in high-risk cases because they fear public reporting of higher mortality rates. The researchers compared demographics, indications and outcomes between 11,374 angioplasty cases at eight Michigan hospitals and 69,048 angioplasty cases at 34 New York hospitals, finding significant differences in case mix between the two states and consequently marked differences in unadjusted mortality. An unrestricted grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan supported the study. Read the abstract. -- by Cinda Becker
Reporting mortality rates may sway docs' case picks
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