News: High risk patients have lower mortality rates at major teaching hospitals

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 49

New research published in the Annals of Surgery shows that high-risk general surgery patients have greater survival rates at major teaching hospitals than at non-teaching hospitals, according to HealthLeaders Media.

The 30-day mortality rate for these high-risk patients was 15.9% at major teaching hospitals, compared with 18.2% at non-teaching hospitals, according to researchers at Penn Medicine. They examined the medical records of 350,000 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent general, vascular, or orthopedic surgery at 2,780 hospitals across the country, including 340 major teaching hospitals.

“Academic medical centers are often recognized for their ability to deliver advanced clinical and surgical care, but there has been limited data on which specific patient groups benefit the most—when factoring costs and outcomes—from receiving care at the hospitals,” senior author Lee A. Fleisher, MD, chair of anesthesiology and critical care at Penn Medicine, said in comments accompanying the study.

The study examined costs and patient outcomes—including 30-day mortality rates—for procedures, such as mastectomy, appendectomy, gastric bypass, blood vessel repair, total knee replacement, and more. The researchers calculated the cost of care within 30 days of admission, including office visits and readmissions, HealthLeaders Media reported.

The mortality rate of high-risk vascular surgery patients was 15.5% at teaching hospitals compared to 16.4% at non-teaching hospitals. The mortality rate for orthopedic surgery procedures was significantly lower overall than the rates for vascular and general surgery.

"Our study provides new data that can help inform patient decisions and influence hospital referral patterns, ultimately moving us closer to a system that ensures patients have access to the treatment they need," Fleisher said.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in HealthLeaders Media. To read the full study, click here.

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