Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cardiac Surgery Centers Expand at an Alarming Rate

According to Consumer Reports there were 163,149 cardiac bypass procedures performed at 955 centers in the USA in 2009. Ten years previously, there were 146,384 procedures done in 365 sites. Many more hospitals have added this service, largely for financial gain. The problem is that the low-volume centers have a 50% higher mortality rate. Overall, 29% of the centers did not follow published guidelines on coronary interventions, and thus were given only a one-star rating. The problem is even more significant because reporting was voluntary, and most of the centers that did not report were likely those who were not performing well. The take-home message is be careful where you go for your bypass. It might mean life or death.

See Family Practice News(click here), February 15, 2011, p. 17.

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