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25% of U.S. Hospitals Not Publicly Reporting Pediatric Heart Surgery Data

Becker’s Healthcare writes of 31 in the United States who do not make their pediatric heart surgery outcomes data publicly available, noting 82 hospitals that do. These institutions cite numerous reasons for not sharing data, such as low volumes or internal reorganization, according to 2018 data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and reporting from The New York Times.

The New York Times writes about 75 percent of the roughly 115 hospitals that perform pediatric heart surgery in the United States publicly share their mortality statistics on a website run by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. That information is risk-adjusted to help account for prematurity, some genetic abnormalities and other factors that could make a child less likely to survive, and to more fairly assess hospitals that take on the most compromised patients. The statistical method also helps evaluate if hospitals are losing patients who wouldn’t be expected to die. While there is some debate about whether the data fully captures the complexity of heart surgery, many experts say it is a strong indicator of a hospital’s performance.

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