The burning in his chest and aching in his arm told Charles, a resident of Kernersville, N.C., that he had to go to the hospital.
But which hospital? Rather than check published data comparing hospital quality
and costs, the computer analyst did what many Americans do. He said he chose a hospital based on a recommendation from someone he knew—in this case, his daughter, who previously had received good care at Forsyth Medical Center in nearby Winston-Salem.
After he arrived at the emergency room, a cardiologist performed an emergency cardiac catheterization, known as a percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI. He snaked a thin tube from Charles' groin through his blood vessels to his heart, broke up a blood clot, and left behind a metal stent to keep the artery open. Charles, who didn't want his last name used for this article, spent four days in the hospital and later returned for routine follow-up care.
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Source: Modern Healthcare