50 top cardiovascular hospitals™ outperform their peers

Balanced scorecard reveals top performers for inpatient cardiovascular services

By | 1 minute read | November 20, 2019

In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and costs about $200 billion each year.1 About half of Americans have at least one key risk factor for heart disease.1

Because preventing, treating and managing cardiovascular diseases is a top priority in healthcare, IBM Watson Health publishes an annual study identifying top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services, the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals™.

Starting with publicly available data from hospitals across the US, Watson Health creates clinical, operational and financial benchmarks. Our proprietary model develops “apples-to-apples” comparison groups, enabling approximately 1000 hospitals in the cardiovascular hospitals’ study to understand their relative performance. These groups are 1) Teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency, 2) Teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency, and 3) Community hospitals.

The Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals 2020 study found that top-performing hospitals demonstrated better clinical care and were more efficient than their peers at delivering this care. This is true across all three comparison groups.

Some of the key performance benchmarks set by this year’s Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, when compared with their peers:

  •        28.7% to 47.4% higher inpatient survival rates
  •        6.3% to 27.7% fewer patients with complications
  •        $1,485 to $6,704 less in total costs per patient case

If all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, we estimate:

  •        More than 11,000 additional lives could be saved;
  •        More than 2,800 additional heart patients could be complication-free
  •        Over $1.5 billion could be saved.


Full report of the Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals
Quality matters: Cardiology and the challenges of value-based care



  1. CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Fact Sheet. 2017 Aug 23. https://www.cdc.gov
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