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Outpatients who got cardiac imaging stress tests before low-risk outpatient surgery

Description of Measure

A cardiac stress test measures the heart’s ability to respond when it is stressed, and can be useful in evaluating a patient’s surgical risk. Experts agree, however, that these tests are not necessary before most low-risk outpatient surgical procedures, such as colonoscopies, cataract surgery, biopsies, or endoscopies (using “scopes” to look inside the body) because these procedures put very little stress on the heart.

Why is this Important?

This measure shows the percentage of all cardiac stress tests done in a hospital outpatient imaging department (using echocardiograms, CT scans, and MRIs) for Medicare patients who were going to have certain low-risk outpatient surgical procedures. Hospital outpatient imaging departments that have higher percentages on this measure may be giving people more tests than they need.

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All descriptions and data sources are reported from Hospital Compare.

Data reported are based on discharges from Third Quarter 2012 through Second Quarter 2013

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