Salem Hospital Earns Top Honors for Cardiac Care

Posted on February 4, 2019

SALEM, OR – IBM Watson HealthTM has named Salem Hospital as one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2019. The Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals™ study is in its 20th year. This is the fourth time — and second year in a row — Salem Hospital has been recognized with this honor.

The 2019 Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study uses 2016 and 2017 Medicare and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data. Hospitals were scored in key value-based performance areas:

  • Risk-adjusted 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
  • CMS 30-day episode payment measures (new this year)

“The cardiovascular care we provide delivers better patient outcomes while we continue to work on lowering costs,” said Brandon Schmidgall, director of the cardiovascular service line at Salem Health. “We closely partner with a multitude of providers such as vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. By adding those partnerships to our extremely dedicated and highly-skilled staff, we’re seeing fantastic results.”

If all cardiovascular providers in the U.S. performed at the level of this year’s winners (based on Medicare patients only), results industry-wide could amount to over 10,300 additional lives saved, $1.8 billion saved and 2,800 additional bypass and angioplasty patients could be complication-free.

“The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion estimates that cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately $1 out of every $6 spent on health care in the country. That’s why it is so critical that hospitals find new and innovative ways to deliver better care at a lower cost,” said Ekta Punwani, 100 Top Hospitals® program leader at IBM Watson Health. “The winning hospitals in our study have established the new benchmark for cardiac care performance by driving consistently better outcomes at a lower cost per case than non-winning hospitals.”

The winning hospitals were announced in the Nov. 5, 2018 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. For more information, visit

About Salem Health: Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit them at; “Like” them on; follow them on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view them at

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