CNN writes of the lack of pediatric heart program performance reporting, with more than half the hospitals that perform children’s heart surgery providing no outcomes data. CNN’s review of hospitals is the first to assess transparency at programs that operate on children’s hearts. Sixty out of the 109 hospitals fail to reveal such basic information. Every year 22,000 babies and children have heart surgery. According to data obtained by CNN from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, among these 109 hospitals, the death rates range from around 1.4% to 12.1%. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the largest professional organization for heart surgeons in the United States, said it “considers public reporting an ethical responsibility of the specialty.” But when the group asked pediatric heart hospitals to report outcomes on its website, fewer than one out of three agreed. A study presented in April at the American Surgical Association found hospitals that publicly report their outcomes for adult heart surgery have lower death rates compared with those that don’t. Hospitals that don’t release their mortality rates often argue that the number of patients in a certain category can be so small that one death will send the rate sky-high.
CNN Review Finds Lack of Performance Reporting within Pediatric Heart Programs
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