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For Second Consecutive Year, KDMC Cardiac Surgery Program Named #1 in Kentucky and Top 5% in U.S. by Healthgrades

Cardiac SurgeonsASHLAND, KY — For the second consecutive year, King’s Daughters is ranked among the top five percent in the nation for cardiac surgery, according to a comprehensive study released today by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings company.

KDMC earned 5-Star ratings in Coronary Bypass Surgery and was named the #1 cardiac surgery program in Kentucky. In addition, for performing in the top five percent in the nation in cardiac surgery, HealthGrades awarded KDMC a 2008 Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award for the second consecutive year.

“To be honored for the second straight year as the best cardiac surgery program in Kentucky, and among top programs in the nation, is a tremendous honor. High marks from an independent, objective national source, such as HealthGrades, demonstrates the quality care we provide every day,” said Fred L. Jackson, KDMC President/CEO. “This award speaks to the tireless efforts of our physicians, nurses and team members to create a world-class heart program.”

Three cardiothoracic surgeons practice at KDMC, including Robert Fried, M.D.Marcos Nores, M.D., and Richard Heuer, M.D., who serves as medical director for the Cardiothoracic Surgery program.

HealthGrades 07-08The Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, the largest of its kind, objectively assessed clinical outcomes and quality measures at virtually all of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals over the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. The 40 million hospitalization records utilized in the assessment are publicly available and licensed from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The HealthGrades ratings take into account varying degrees of patient severity from hospital to hospital and measure whether patient outcomes for each of more than two dozen procedures and diagnoses are better than expected (5-Star), as expected (3-Star) or worse than expected (1-Star).

“Our research shows that while the overall quality of hospital care in America is improving, the gap between the best-performing hospitals and the worst persists,” said Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades’ chief medical officer and author of the study. “This persistent gap makes it imperative that anyone planning to be admitted to a hospital do their homework and seek out highly rated facilities.”

According to the study. Patients admitted to the nation’s top-performing hospitals, 5-Star hospitals like King’s Daughters, have, on average, a 71 percent lower mortality rate than those treated at 1-Star hospitals across 18 procedures and conditions analyzed. Other key findings included:

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Gaps persist between the “best” and the “worst” hospitals across all procedures and conditions studied. 5-Star hospitals, such as KDMC, had statistically significantly lower risk-adjusted mortality across all three years studied.

  • Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 52 percent lower mortality rate in a 5-Star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.

To learn more about the Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, please visit

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