Report: Elective Procedure Rates Vary by Location Across California
The likelihood of undergoing certain elective procedures for health conditions depends on where California residents live within the state, according to a report by the California HealthCare Foundation, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
CHCF publishes California Healthline.
Details of Report
The report examined the rates of elective procedures for several common health conditions. Researchers compared data from 2005 to 2008 and 2009 to 2012 (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 11/18).
An interactive map of the findings separates more than two dozen services under six areas, including:
- Cancer treatment;
- Childbirth procedures;
- Heart procedures;
- Joint replacement;
- Spine procedures; and
- Other procedures.
The report found that:
- Avalon had a cervical decompression surgery rate 486% higher than the state average;
- Coalinga had a gallbladder removal rate nearly 174% higher than the state average;
- Corcoran had a coronary angiography rate 298% higher than the state average;
- Greenville had a hip replacement rate 232% higher than the state average;
- South San Francisco had a breast cancer treatment -- including lumpectomy with radiation -- rate 197% higher than the state average; and
- West Covina had a Cesarean section rate 148% higher than the state average (CHCF interactive map, November 2014).
Further, the report found that statewide:
- Cesarean section rates rose by 3%;
- Coronary artery bypass rates declined by 22%;
- Hysterectomy rates declined by 9%;
- Hip replacement rates increased by 12%; and
- Knee replacement rates increased by 11% (CHCF report, November 2014).
Maribeth Shannon, who helps oversee the "All Over the Map" project, said that variation rates by location would average out if patients were more informed about the procedures.
She said, "You wouldn't think that people in Southern California would make dramatically different decisions as people in Northern California with the same symptoms," adding, "If people are fully informed, there'd be a range of options that people would choose … but you wouldn't see a decision based on geography" ("State of Health," KQED, 11/18).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.