Report: Mortality Rate for Heart Surgery on Decline in California
On Tuesday, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development released a report finding that more patients at California hospitals are surviving coronary artery bypass graft surgeries, theÂ Los AngelesÂ DailyÂ NewsÂ reports (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/19).
Since 2003, OSHPD has published reports on hospital outcomes for coronary artery bypass graft procedures as part of an effort to improve performance at the 121 California hospitals that perform the surgery (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/19).
The report evaluates each hospital individually, adjusting for multiple factors such as complex cases and severity of illness. However, some hospital officials say the state does not go far enough in accounting for different risk factors.
In 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, OSHPD reported 347 deaths resulting from coronary artery bypass graft procedures, or about 2.35% of the 14,756 surgeries performed.
Preliminary data for 2008 suggest that California hospitals achieved a mortality rate of about 2.2% for coronary artery surgeries, according to state officials (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/19).
In 2003, the state reported a mortality rate of 2.91% for the 21,272 procedures performed (Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/19). Since that year, the number of deaths resulting from coronary artery surgeries has declined by about 19%, the report found.
The report also found that no California hospital performed significantly better than state averages for coronary artery surgery, while four hospitals performed significantly worse than state averages (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/19).
Possible Reason for the Decrease
Some physicians say the state's overall decline in mortality rate for coronary artery surgery might stem from earlier diagnoses of heart conditions, which allow physicians to perform less-invasive proceduresÂ (Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/19).Â ÂThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.