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Another View of Cardiac Center at Mission Hospital

April 15, 2002

I was surprised and disappointed that Trudy Lieberman used Mission Hospital as a negative example for her "Health Matters" column ("Hospitals Appeal to the Heart," March 18), which focused on competition and cost in cardiac-care services.

There were several inaccuracies and clearly a lack of understanding regarding the purpose of the Muldoon Cardiac Center at Mission Hospital, which opened in January to serve the rapidly expanding needs of south Orange County.

Mission Hospital does not need to attract new patients from nearby hospitals, as the article misstated.

It is simply a case of supply and demand--something recognized by the many generous donors, such as Edward and Ann Muldoon, who made the cardiac center a reality.

The population in the primary service area is estimated to increase by 10% by 2005, with a 22.9% increase in adults ages 45 to 63, many of whom will need quality cardiac care.

Mission Hospital expanded its cardiac facilities to a new floor to absorb these needs and help save the lives of numerous residents.

The center enables the hospital to increase its cardiac intensive-care capacity by 35% in a technologically advanced and nurturing environment.

The article further stated that there is a negative correlation between volume of cardiac procedures performed annually and quality of care.

However, Mission Hospital rates better than the national average in readmission rates for open-heart surgery, and the cardiac interventional services have earned a five-star rating from Health Grades.

Now, an even greater number of patients in need will benefit from this quality care.

PETER F. BASTONE

President and

chief executive officer

Mission Hospital

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