Why is this report important to me?
If you or someone you know has heart problems, you may find this report helpful when considering where to receive treatment. Hospitals can vary, sometimes quite a bit, in terms of what they charge and their quality and safety for patients.
This report is not intended to be anyone's sole source of information about hospital quality, safety and charges in Utah. Rather, it is designed to provide helpful information that can play an important role in choosing hospitals, along with other sources, including doctor recommendations.
Why are you producing this report?
The 2007 Utah Hospital Comparison Report for Heart Surgeries and Conditions is one of a series of health care consumer reports that the Office of Health Care Statistics (OHCS) has developed in response to Senate Bill 132. Readers of the report can review 2006 hospital-specific charges for selected heart conditions and procedures as well as 2004-2006 quality information for four major inpatient procedures.
Consumers are encouraged to use the information in these reports to ask questions of their provider, hospital or insurance representative. Let them know you plan to take an active role in your health care decisions.
What is the purpose of the Utah Health Data Committee?
The Utah Health Data Committee (HDC) was established by the Utah Legislature in 1990 to collect, analyze and distribute state Health Care data. Since December 2005, the Committee has released a series of consumer reports comparing health care in Utah's hospitals. The Office of Health Care Statistics serves as staff for the HDC and produces these reports.
Who else helped to shape this report?
Utah citizens continually review our consumer reports to make sure they are understandable and easy to read. Public input helps us to create user-friendly reports for people who are not medical experts yet need useful health care information. Learn more about our evaluation methods...
Leading physicians and health educators reviewed the report's medical information. Five bio-statisticians assisted in selecting the appropriate statistical method for comparing hospital performance.
About the Data
Most of the data in this report come from inpatient hospital claim records. Utah hospitals are required by law to submit a standard set of information about each patient who spends at least one night in the hospital to the Office of Health Care Statistics, Utah Department of Health, for the Utah Hospital Discharge Database. The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), a federal agency in charge of quality of care, provided national information. For further information, visit the AHRQ Web site.
Have the data been verified by others?
Yes, Utah hospitals review the data for accuracy during a 30-day review period while the report is being developed. They review the completed report before it is released. Hospitals may submit comments to be posted on online as part of the report.
Why use these indicators/measures?
AHRQ developed the Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) for in-hospital deaths used in this report. The IQIs allow comparison among Utah hospitals with similar patients nationwide. This report shows four IQIs for in-hospital deaths, two common heart conditions and two common heart procedures.
The measure for average charge is an All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Group (APR-DRG) for similar, though not identical, conditions and procedures. For this reason, the number of patients for APR-DRGs and similar IQIs often are not the same. Also, please keep in mind that for death rates, three years of data are used, while a single year is used for charges. Read more on APR-DRG classifications.
Many factors affect a hospital’s performance on quality and safety measures. Such factors include the hospital’s size, the number of heart cases, available specialists, teaching status and especially how ill the hospital’s patients are. Hospitals that treat high-risk (very ill) patients may have higher percentages of deaths than hospitals that transfer these patients. Hospitals that treat only patients with do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders or other terminally ill patients receiving palliative care (comfort care) may have higher percentages of deaths. Hospitals may also report patient diagnosis codes differently, which could impact the comparison of quality measurement among hospitals. The quality indicators adjust for how ill each hospital’s patients are, but the adjustment may not capture the full complexity of the patient’s condition. The Utah Hospital Discharge Database includes up to nine diagnoses and up to six procedures for each patient. Some patients have additional diagnoses and procedures that are not included in this database. As a result, the measures of patient illness may not be complete. For more information see glossary and technical document
The average charge shown in this report differs from “costs,” “reimbursement,” “price” and “payment.” Different payers have different arrangements with each hospital for payment. Many factors will affect the cost for your hospital stay, including whether you have health insurance, the type of insurance and the billing procedures at the hospital. This report excludes outlier (unusually high) charge cases and length of stay cases from the calculation of average charge (see Glossary). The indicators used in this report do not distinguish between patients expected to recover and patients with do not resuscitate (DNR) orders or other patients receiving only palliative care (comfort care).