New Report on Cardiac Bypasses in California Raises Questions
California hospitals had an average mortality rate of 3.08% for coronary bypass surgery in 2005, according to a statewide report that the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development released on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The report rates hospitals using a formula that adjusts for factors that can increase a patient's mortality risk, such as:
- Other medical conditions; and
- Prior heart surgeries.
The data are intended to help California residents find a provider to treat heart disease (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 1/9).
The report is based on data on 16,939 procedures at 120 hospitals (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/9).
Two hospitals with mortality rates below the statewide average had rates that exceeded the state average in previous reports.
David Carlisle, director of OSHPD, said, "This may be indicative of the type of effect that we hope to see from these reports" (Los Angeles Times, 1/9).
According to the Union-Tribune, California hospitals performed 43% fewer heart bypass surgeries in 2006 than they did in 1997, coinciding with a shift to less-invasive percutaneous coronary interventions, including angioplasty and stent procedures.
California currently does not require hospitals to report mortality data on PCIs; only New York and Massachusetts require public reporting of such procedures.
Joseph Parker, health care outcomes director at OSHPD, said the state should monitor quality of PCIs, adding, "I don't think you can have a complete picture of how California hospitals are doing with heart revascularization procedures until" data are publicly reported on bypass procedures, angioplasties and stent procedures.
Compromise legislation (ABX1 1) to overhaul California's health care system would establish mandatory reporting of angioplasty and stenting procedures by 2010 (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/9).