About one in four California hospitals had worse than average mortality rates for at least one of eight procedures and conditions, according to a new report by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which compiles hospital quality and financial data.
The eight procedures and conditions were: esophageal resection; pancreatic resection; craniotomy; acute stroke; gastro-intestinal hemorrhage; hip fracture; percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; and carotid endarterectomy.
Ninety-four hospitals had worse than average mortality rates for at least one condition in 2007, while 25 hospitals rated better than average, out of nearly 400 hospitals. In 2006, 98 hospitals rated worse than average and 33 hospitals did better than average on at least one condition, according to the report, which compiled data submitted by hospitals.
This is the first time California has issued a report on hospital mortality for the eight procedures and conditions. Last year, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality refined its risk algorithm, allowing the state to only include cases where one of these conditions were "present on admission" to improve data accuracy, said Joseph Parker, director of the Healthcare Outcomes Center at the health planning office. Only New York and California require hospitals to report "present on admission" data, though the CMS began mandating that contracting hospitals collect the information this year for the purpose of stopping reimbursements for so-called "never events."
Several California hospitals that received worse than average marks wrote letters to the state saying the methodology was flawed.