Mortality Rate for Cardiac Bypass Surgeries Declines in California
Today, California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development is set to release a report indicating that mortality rates from cardiac bypass surgery dropped to 2.2% in 2006 from 2.9% in 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The report looked at more than 32,000 operations performed in 2005 and 2006 and rated all 284 bypass surgeons in California (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/8).
The report is based on clinical information the National Society of Thoracic Surgeons collects.Â State officials then verified the data (Rodriguez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 4/7).
Mortality rates were adjusted to account for the patients' age, weight, chronic diseases and factors that would influence the risk of death from heart surgery (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).
The report found that:
- Among the 15,647 isolated bypass surgeries performed at hospitals in the state in 2006, 347 people died (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 4/7);
- Mortality rates are lower at hospitals that perform more bypass surgeries (Dahlberg, Sacramento Bee, 4/8);
- Statewide, the average mortality rate for surgeons for cardiac bypass surgeries was 2.65% (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/8);
- Eight surgeons were identified as having substantially higher-than-average mortality rates (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/8); and
- The number of bypass surgeries California physicians performed declined from 15,927 in 2006 to 15,036 in 2007.
Joe Parker, director of health care outcomes at OSHPD, said the drop in bypass surgeries reflects a trend to treat coronary blockages with drugs (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).
About the Report
The report is the fourth on coronary bypasses that California has released (Contra Costa Times, 4/8).
Parker said information from the report can help:
- Patients select a hospital and physician for cardiac care;
- Large companies and insurers put together benefit packages; and
- Health plans designate cardiac centers of excellence and direct members to facilities and physicians with better outcomes (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 4/7).
Unlike some other states, California does not measure and report mortality rates for angioplasty.
State officials said they want to evaluate angioplasty procedures performed at hospitals but need authorization from the legislature (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).Aside from women giving birth, heart disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for adults in California (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 4/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.