CHI St. Luke's Heart Transplant In-Hospital Mortality Rate is Near National Average

In Heart Failure

By: James Pitt  Jun. 11, 2018

Dexur analysts compared the 20 hospitals with the most CMS inpatient discharges for DRGs 001 and 002 from 2013 to 2016. The national average in-hospital mortality rate for DRG 001 patients was 11.94% from January 2013 to December 2016. St. Luke’s in-hospital mortality rate for these patients was 13% in this period, a 1% difference from national average. The other top 20 hospitals also average slightly higher mortality rates than the national average. The highest was 18% at Stanford Health Care (Stanford, CA), and the lowest 7% at Duke University Health System (Durham, NC).

In-Hospital Mortality Rate (%) for Heart Transplant or Implant of Heart Assist System with Major Complications or Comorbidities (DRG 001)

Some hospitals have riskier patients than others. A simple way to compare risks is case mix index. Medicare groups heart transplants and related procedures such as ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation in diagnosis-related group 001 for patients with major complications or comorbidities, and DRG 002 for patients without major complications or comorbidities. A hospital with a high ratio of DRG 001 to DRG 002 patients most likely has sicker heart transplant patients than a hospital with a low ratio of DRG 001 to DRG 002.

Nationally, 87% of Heart Transplant or Implant of Heart Assist System patients are in DRG 001. (13% are in DRG 002). At the top 20 hospitals for these procedures, 90% of patients are DRG 001. At St. Luke’s, 92% are in DRG 001. Therefore, St. Luke’s appears to indeed have somewhat sicker heart transplant patients, compared to the national average and to other large heart transplant hospitals. Among the hospitals that performed the most heart transplants, the highest proportion of DRG 001 patients was 99% at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI). The lowest proportion was 77%, at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock (Little Rock, AR).


  1. Total DRG 001 discharges
  2. Total DRG 002 discharges
  3. Proportion of DRG 001 discharges
  4. DRG 001 in-hospital mortality rate

From 2013-2016, including national data and data for the below hospitals:

  1. Barnes Jewish Hospital
  2. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  3. Baylor University Medical Center
  4. Duke University Health System, Inc.
  5. Trustees Of The University Of Pennsylvania
  6. Nebraska Medical Center
  7. Tufts Medical Center, Inc.
  8. Advocate Health And Hospitals Corporation
  9. Fairview Health Services
  10. Baptist Health
  11. University Of Washington
  12. The University Of Chicago Medical Center
  13. Integris Baptist Medical Center Inc
  14. Chi St. Luke's Health Baylor College Of Medicine Medical Center
  15. Stanford Health Care
  16. Spectrum Health Hospitals
  17. Mayo Clinic Hospital-Rochester
  18. Washington Hospital Center Corporation
  19. The Methodist Hospital
  20. Adventist Health System-Sunbelt, Inc


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James Pitt

James Pitt is a science writer with experience in medical devices and textbook publishing. His hobbies include reading, flintknapping, and squinting at RStudio. He received a bachelor's in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard.