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Mapping America’s Coronary Stent Hot Spots

While coronary stents have proved effective in restoring blood flow in heart-attack patients, research shows they are no better than medicine, exercise and dietary restrictions in preventing heart attacks in elective patients whose heart disease is deemed stable. When doctors opt for stents, they prop open coronary arteries in a procedure called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI. More than 90 percent of PCIs include stenting. To show where the use of stents is high, Bloomberg News ranked regional health-care markets by three measures: the number of PCI procedures for every 1,000 Medicare enrollees; how often they are performed for every 1,000 angiography scans of coronary arteries; and the number per 1,000 cases of diagnosed ischemia — or reduced cardiac blood flow. More procedures in each case may indicate locales where doctors are more inclined to use stents. Click here to read the full story.

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    Indicated Stent Usage
    • 20 hospital regions with highest usage
    • High usage
    • Above average usage
    • Below average usage
    • Low usage
    • Insufficient data
    Note: 2010 data. Orange, tan, light blue and dark blue areas divided by quartiles. Areas colored red are included in the top quartile.
    Sources: Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Data on Medicare beneficiaries excludes those in Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations and patients under 65 years of age.

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