Paducah Baptist and Ashland hospitals ‘above average’ in Consumer Reports’ ratings of hospitals for heart surgery

Baptist Health Paducah
(formerly Western Baptist Hospital)

By Melissa Landon
Kentucky Health News

Consumer Reports has reported ratings of hospitals for heart-valve and coronary artery bypass surgery based on hospitals’ reports to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. More than 400 hospitals in 45 states have been rated, based on “medical records showing whether patients survived the procedure and how they fared on other important measures, including complications,” the magazine says.

Although more than 1,000 hospitals send data to STS, only 400 allowed it to be shared with Consumer Reports. Of those did, “20 percent (83) were above average, 75 percent (310) were average and 4 percent (18) were below average,” the magazine reports. Robbin Cohen, a cardiothoracic surgery professor at the University of Southern California, said the STS has very high standards, so hospitals with average scores do a very good job.

King’s Daughters Hospital, Ashland

King’s Daughters Hospital in Ashland and Baptist Health Paducah (formerly Western Baptist Hospital) were the only Kentucky hospitals ranked above average for either type of procedure (and in their cases, only for bypasses). King’s Daughters recently agreed to a huge settlement with the federal government for doing unnecessary heart procedures.

Four Kentucky hospitals were listed as below average for both procedures: Lourdes Hospital in Paducah and Jewish Hospital, Norton Hospital and Norton Audubon Hospital. Two were listed as below average for bypass and were not listed for valve: Baptist Health Lexington and Baptist Health Madisonville.

Several hospitals near Kentucky were on the list. Mercy Health-Anderson Hospital in Cincinnati was rated below average for bypass and was not listed for valve surgery. In Missouri, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center and Cape Girardeau’s Saint Francis Medical Center were rated below average on both.

In Tennessee, Nashville’s Tristar Centennial Medical Center and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital were below average on both, but Saint Thomas West Hospital, was above average for bypass and below average on valves. In Knoxville, the Univerity of Tennessee Medical Center and its Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center were below average on both, and Parkwest Medical Center was above average on bypass and below average on valve. Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport was below average on both, and Johnson City Medical Center was above average on bypass and below average on valves.

The top hospitals in the nation were Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Cleveland Clinic, which attracts some Kentuckians. To see the full list of ratings, click here.

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