IU Health Ball Hospital Named One of Nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by IBM Watson Health

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Photo by: Mike RhodesIU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Dawn Brand Fluhler—

Muncie, IN—IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital was this week named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by IBM Watson Health.

IBM Watson Health recently released the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals 2018 study. The annual study, conducted by Truven Health Analytics, now part of IBM Watson Health, identifies the top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services. The study uses a balanced national scorecard of hospital performance metrics to identify the highest performing cardiovascular service lines in the nation.

This study is part of the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals program. All these studies use rigorous processes to calculate and measure hospital service lines, leveraging industry-leading, risk-adjusted methodologies developed and maintained by IBM Watson Health scientists over many years. The 100 Top Hospitals study is widely regarded as the leading program for evaluating leadership impact in a hospital, as well as for evaluating quality indicators and efficiencies.

The  Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study measures attainment in key performance areas: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality, risk-adjusted complications, percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, wage- and severity-adjusted average cost per case and, new this year, CMS 30-day episode payment measures. The study has been conducted annually since 1999.

“To receive any type of recognition from a third party is gratifying for us as an organization,” said Jeff Bird, MD, president, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. “But more importantly it’s a reflection of the priority our clinicians place on the safety of our patients every day with each individual interaction. Providing the very best care for our patients is at the center of everything we do.”

To determine the 50 top U.S. hospitals for heart care, IBM Watson Health researchers analyzed 2015 and 2016 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, 2016 Medicare cost reports and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare July 1, 2013-June 30, 2016 data.

“Earning this recognition along with adding a Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Surgeon to our care team further strengthens the level of cardiovascular care the residents of East Central Indiana can receive in their community,” said Bruce Graham, MD, cardiologist, IU Health Ball Memorial Physicians.

The winning hospitals were announced in the Nov. 6, 2017, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

The study, and subsequent analysis of the positive variances these leading cardiovascular service hospitals show, indicates an opportunity for a broader national impact for cardiovascular patients, should these results be replicated. In fact, if all cardiovascular providers in the U.S. performed at the level of this year’s winners:

  • Nearly 8,900 additional lives could be saved
  • Nearly 3,700 more bypass and angioplasty patients could be complication-free
  • More than $1.4 billion could be saved

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at 100tophospitals.com.


About the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals Report and the 100 Top Hospitals Program

The Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study is available at 100tophospitals.com. It is published once a year in November. Hospitals may also request customized benchmark reports and comparative analysis on the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by contacting (616) 248-4645 or visiting 100tophospitals.com.

Since 1993, the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals program has used independent and objective research to guide hospital and health system performance. Organizations do not apply or pay for this honor, or pay to promote their award. Award-winning hospitals and health systems prove that better care is possible and provide an example for other organizations to follow across the industry. The 100 Top Hospitals award winners demonstrate top performance on both how patients are cared for under clinical measures and how the hospital performs as an efficient business. Visit 100tophospitals.com for more information.

About Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital serves as a tertiary referral center and teaching hospital for East Central Indiana and part of Indiana University Health. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and maintains 1.2 million square feet of facilities. More than 17,500 patients are admitted every year and more than 310,000 outpatient procedures are completed annually. Jeff Bird, MD is President. Learn more at iuhealth.org/ball-memorial.