Thursday, May 19, 2011

PHC4: Death Rates for Heart Surgery Down

In 1994 in-hospital mortality rates for coronary artery bypass surgery patients in Pennsylvania stood at 3.23%. That was the first year the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) began keeping statistics. Since then it has dropped to 1.54% according to the most recent data from the PHC4.

The numbers are based on nearly 31 thousand procedures in Pennsylvania’s 60 general acute care hospitals.

The numbers of readmissions is also falling. 12.8% of all patients who had a bypass in 2009 were readmitted due to complications within 30 days of being released. “Even with optimal care not all readmissions are preventable,” said PHC4 spokesperson Stephanie Suran, “Studies have found that some readmissions can be avoided with better planned and executed discharge processes, greater follow up and connecting discharged patients with doctors post-surgery.”

Infection continues to be a problem for heart patients. “We found that about 5% of cardiac surgery patients contracted a healthcare associated infection and these patients had higher mortality rates and more readmissions and longer hospital stays,” said Suran. Those infections nearly double the price of the hospital stay.

PHC4 breaks down the data for each of the 60 general acute care hospitals in the state and for most individual doctors. The full report can be found online.

No comments: