Improvement in the Quality of Care for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI): Have Rural Hospitals Followed National Trends?

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2003
Project completed:
February 2009
AMI is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and a common cause for admission to U.S. hospitals. AMI requires immediate care in a hospital setting to minimize morbidity and mortality. In rural hospital settings, transport of patients with AMI to urban settings could result in delays in care. Some of the most effective and immediate treatments for AMI require only basic intravenous access and should be equally accessible in rural and urban hospitals. The goal of this project was to determined whether overall improvements in the quality of care for AMI among Medicare patients have taken place in both rural and urban hospital settings.

The study population was Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older with an AMI confirmed by specific medical criteria who were directly admitted for the AMI care (rather than transferred). Rates of AMI guidelines adherence by the three types of rural and urban hospitals were calculated for these hospitals nationally, by region, division, and state in the two time periods. Analyses are complete, and the final report is in preparation.