publication date: Mar. 11, 2016

Study: California Hospitals with Low Volumes of Surgeries Associated with Higher Risks 


In California, nearly 75 percent of the state’s hospitals performed only one or two surgeries when treating one of 11 selected cancer types in 2014, according to a report from the California Health Care Foundation.

The report linked the low hospital surgery volumes with higher rates of mortality and complications, while evaluating cancers of the bladder, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum and stomach.

“On average, patients who undergo surgeries for [these] cancers…at hospitals that perform relatively few of these surgeries—compared to hospitals that perform a high volume—are less likely to survive the surgery,” the report said, adding that some patients of certain cancer types were also more likely to have longer stays in the hospital.

According to the report, less common surgeries—involving cancers of the bladder, esophagus, pancreas and stomach—were more likely to occur in hospitals that only perform one or two surgeries for that cancer. Surgeries for cancers of the breast, colon and prostate, however, were far less likely to occur at low-volume hospitals.

For example, of the 25,290 inpatient and outpatient breast cancer surgeries performed in California in 2014, 0.1 percent of the surgeries were performed at low-volume hospitals.

At the same time, 11 percent of stomach cancer surgeries were performed at low-volume hospitals. Stomach cancer surgeries at low-volume hospitals were associated with increased adverse outcomes such as higher mortality, failure to rescue and … Continue reading 42-10 Study: California Hospitals with Low Volumes of Surgeries Associated with Higher Risks

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