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Fortune and IBM Watson Health Reveal Annual List of 50 Top-Performing U.S. Cardiovascular Hospitals

The Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals winners demonstrate opportunities to potentially save thousands of additional lives and billions of dollars in costs
Cardiovascular caseloads drop due to pandemic, but hospitals continue to deliver quality care despite COVID-19 challenges
Nov 16, 2021

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson Health today announced its 2022 Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list, naming the top-performing U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services. This year's study included 951 U.S. hospitals with cardiovascular service lines. Based on comparisons between the study winners and a peer group of similar hospitals in the study, the winners delivered better outcomes while operating more efficiently and at a lower cost. The list of the top cardiovascular hospitals was published by Fortune today.

"The Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study focuses on one of healthcare's most important service lines that affects hundreds of thousands of patients lives annually and adds billions of dollars to our nation's overall healthcare costs," said Gretchen Purcell Jackson, MD, PhD, Chief Health and Science Officer, IBM Watson Health. "That's why publishing new and achievable benchmarks for cardiovascular services is important and has the potential to make a large and lasting impact on the quality and cost of care for heart patients across the U.S."

Based on the methodology used by Watson Health, the study concludes that if all United States hospitals' cardiovascular service lines performed at the level of these study winners, some 6,400 additional lives and roughly $1.4 billion could be saved, and 5,000 additional bypass and angioplasty patients could be complication-free.

Compared to similar cardiovascular hospitals, this year's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals winners had better results on indicators intended to measure clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, financial performance, and patient experience. The measures evaluate inpatient and 30-day mortality, patient complications, 30-day readmission, average length of stay, 30-day episode-of-care payment, and adjusted cost per case, for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and heart failure (HF) patients.

The study data also showed that there was an overall 13.5 percent decline in the volume of patients treated for these cardiovascular conditions from 2019 to 2020. This decline was most likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in many patients delaying or avoiding care and hospitals focusing on treating only patients with urgent needs. For the heart patients who were treated, the outcomes were similar to previous years, indicating that quality of care was stable in the observed hospitals despite the pandemic.

New to the study this year is the inclusion of a patient experience measure based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey as reported in the CMS Hospital Compare data set. Patient perception of care – or the patient "experience" – is crucial to the balanced scorecard concept and has a direct effect on a hospital's ability to remain competitive in the market. As with other measures, winning hospitals outperformed their peers in the HCAHPS measure in all comparison groups.

Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals List (by category)
* Hospitals are listed in alphabetical order. The order of hospitals reflected below is not to be construed as any indication of performance or recommendation.

Teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency programs*
Ascension Borgess Hospital (Kalamazoo, MI)
Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte, NC)
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple (Temple, TX)
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital - Plano (Plano, TX
Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas, TX
Froedert Hospital (Milwaukee, WI)
Intermountain Medical Center (Murray, UT
Kettering Medical Center (Kettering, OH)
Mayo Clinic Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
Mayo Clinic Rochester (Rochester, MN)
Mercy Medical Center (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield, IL)
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago, IL)
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA)
Piedmont Atlanta Hospital (Atlanta, GA)
Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH)
St. Luke's University Hospital - Bethlehem (Bethlehem, PA)
Summa Health System - Akron Campus (Akron, OH)
UNC REX Hospital (Raleigh, NC)
University Hospital (Madison, WI)

Teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency programs* 
Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola (Pensacola, FL)
Aspirus Wausau Hospital (Wausau, WI)
Atrium Health Pineville (Charlotte, NC)
Baton Rouge General - Bluebonnet (Baton Rouge, LA)
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Hillcrest (Waco, TX)
Beaumont Hospital, Troy (Troy, MI)
Bronson Methodist Hospital (Kalamazoo, MI)
Chester County Hospital (West Chester, PA)
Chippenham Hospital (Richmond, VA)
Eisenhower Medical Center (Rancho Mirage, CA)
Missouri Baptist Medical Center (Saint Louis, MO)
Overland Park Regional Medical Center (Overland Park, KS)
Providence St. Patrick Hospital (Missoula, MT)
Redmond Regional Medical Center (Rome, GA)
Sarasota Memorial Hospital (Sarasota, FL)
St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital (Ypsilanti, MI)
St. Joseph's Hospital (Tampa, FL)
The Medical Center of Aurora (Aurora, CO)
The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital (Greensboro, NC)
TriStar Centennial Medical Center (Nashville, TN)

Community hospitals*
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (Medford, OR)
Ascension St. Vincent Heart Center (Indianapolis, IN)
Bellin Hospital (Green Bay, WI)
Harlingen Medical Center (Harlingen, TX)
McLaren Northern Michigan (Petoskey, MI)
Oklahoma Heart Hospital North (Oklahoma City, OK)
Oklahoma Heart Hospital South (Oklahoma City, OK)
Parkwest Medical Center (Knoxville, TN)
Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center (Reno, NV)
UnityPoint Health - Allen Hospital (Waterloo, IA)

The Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study is based on quantitative research that uses a balanced scorecard approach, based on publicly available data, to identify the top cardiovascular hospitals in the U.S. To determine the cardiovascular hospitals included on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 951 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. It includes patients requiring medical management, as well as those who receive invasive or surgical procedures. Because multiple measures are used, a hospital must provide all forms of cardiovascular care, including open heart surgery, to be included in the study.

All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and Hospital Compare data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply for awards, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

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About the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® Program
The IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals Program's annual studies result in the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list and IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems list. Organizations do not apply or pay for this honor or pay to promote their award. Award-winning hospitals and health systems serve as a model of excellence for the industry. Visit for more information.

About IBM Watson Health
IBM Watson Health is a data, analytics, and technology partner for the health industry. Supported by the innovation of IBM and intelligence of Watson, we are committed to helping build smarter health ecosystems. Through the combination of our deep industry expertise in health, data and analytics, actionable insights, and reputation for security and trust, Watson Health is working together with its clients and partners to help them achieve simpler processes, better care insights, faster breakthroughs, and improved experiences for people around the world. Learn more at

Carolyn Castel



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