Seattle Times examines Swedish-Cherry Hill's neuroscience program balance of volume & quality

Written by Laura Dyrda | February 13, 2017 | Print  |

A Seattle Times report examined the spine and neurosurgery services at Providence Health & Services Swedish-Cherry Hill hospital.

According to the report, the health system decided to overhaul Cherry Hill's neuroscience program to treat more high risk patients. The invasive brain and spine procedures generated around $500 million in net operating revenue in 2015 and touted higher Medicare reimbursement per inpatient visit than any other hospital of its size.


However, the Times questioned the means by which the hospital achieved its success and reported physicians were "incentivized to pursue a high-volume approach."


The surgeons also performed procedures concurrently to achieve higher volume, rotating between multiple operating rooms while training physicians also played a role in performing the procedures.


The federal government recently flagged Cherry Hill for having high blood clot, collapsed lung and serious medical complication rates and state data shows there was a rise in other issues associated with patients, according to the report.


Providence officials didn't comment on the report, but a spokesperson said the health system does plan to launch an investigation into whether the Times reporter improperly obtained medical records.


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