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High-Volume Hospitals Provide Better Care, But at a Greater Cost

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The most common reason for hospitalization in the Medicare program is congestive heart failure, according to

By reviewing the records of over one million patients at over 4,000 hospitals in the U.S., authors of a study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that Medicare patients with congestive heart failure in high-volume hospitals had lower death rates. But their cost of care was higher than for patients at low-volume hospitals. 

The study, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that understanding which practices employed by high-volume institutions account for such advantages -- like better care and lower mortality rates -- could help to improve quality of care and clinical outcomes for all patients with congestive heart failure.

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