Dr. Mark Gordon, Avera Heart Hospital, Sioux Falls
Dr. Mark Gordon is excited about a new study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It compared patient care for the most common type of heart attack at 474 nonprofit hospitals and 58 for profit hospitals like Avera Heart Hospital.
"What we found was there was no differences in the types of medications used, the types of procedures used, or the types or the ultimate outcome for the patients," he said. Dr.Gordon said for-profit hospitals have come under scrutiny because some criticize they are selective about which types of patients they admit.
"The study found just the opposite: that the for-profit hospitals took care of the patients that were sicker," he added. Dr.Gordon has worked at both types of facilities. He said this has been a divisive issue among cardiologists.
"It's nice now that we finally have a study that shows the outcomes are the same," he said. "The treatment doesn't vary depending on the type of insurance a person has. In the end, I think the patients win because they know that regardless of the type of hospital they go to they're going to get the best quality care."
The study looked at 150,000 patients that received care between 2001 and 2005 at over 500 hospitals. The study also showed that mortality rates were similar at both facilities. Cardiologists say they hope the study helps standardize the care for certain illnesses and by doing so all hospitals--regardless of affiliation--can improve the quality of care.