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Arkansas Heart Hospital ranked among nation’s best for clinical outcomes 

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (December 16, 2006) Arkansas Heart Hospital ranks among the top five percent in the nation for Cardiology Services and Coronary Interventional Procedures and top ten percent nationally for Overall Cardiac Services, according to a comprehensive study released by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading healthcare ratings company.

Arkansas Heart Hospital was also:

Recipient of the 2007 HealthGrades Cardiac Care Excellence Award™

Ranked #1 in Arkansas for Overall Cardiac Services

Ranked #1 in Arkansas for Cardiology Services

Ranked #1 in Arkansas for Coronary Interventional Procedures

“To be graded the best in so many of these important categories is truly remarkable,” said Arkansas Heart Hospital CEO Charlie Smith. “This independent study makes a strong statement for our facilities, and especially the expertise of our physicians and nursing staff.”

As part of its ninth annual Hospital Quality in America Study, HealthGrades analyzed more than 5,000 hospitals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its 2007 ratings, objectively assessing their clinical outcomes and quality. 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).

“This is good news to us, and good news to the people who have Arkansas Heart Hospital as a listed provider in their insurance plans or health networks,” Smith said. “Heart disease continues to be a very serious health problem, but world class heart care is close to home. We specialize in heart care and we are committed to being the best at what we do.”

The 2007 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on HealthGrades’ consumer Web site, located at www.healthgrades.com. More than three million individuals and employees of more than 125 major employers visit the HealthGrades web site every month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with detailed assessments of hospitals’ patient-safety outcomes, based on indicators developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“Consumers continue to ask for more and better information to help them in their health care decision making,” said Samantha Collier, M.D., HealthGrades’ vice president of medical affairs. “Our analysis provides an apples-to-apples comparison of hospital performance by procedure or diagnosis, and it is evident there is significant variance between individual hospitals. For Arkansas Heart Hospital to rank among the nation’s best reflects the efforts of everybody in the organization, and should be very comforting to all Arkansas residents.”

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