Best & worst patient outcomes — Patients may now compare US surgeons by name

Megan Wood -   Print  |
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Consumers will now be able to identify which surgeons are among the best and worst for patient outcomes, thanks to a Nonprofit Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services analysis.

The analysis includes more than five million cases performed by more than 50,000 physicians, diving into topics such as how often surgeons' patients die in the hospital or within 90 days of hospital discharge; how many patients have serious complications in the hospital; and how many patients are readmitted within 90 days of discharge for surgery-related issues.

 

Checkbook ratings are based on federal government records. The company released surgeons' names on this website

 

Here are five insights:

 

1. Patients may compare surgeons for 12 high-risk surgeries, including:

 

• Heart valve and bypass surgery
• Vascular surgery
• Major bowel surgery
• Spine surgery
• Pulmonary surgery
• Total knee and hip replacement

 

2. For heart valve and bypass surgery, Checkbook found:

 

• Best-rated one-tenth of surgeons had death rates of less than 3 percent in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge
• Worst-rated one-tenth of surgeons had death rates of more than 10 percent in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge

 

3. For major bowel surgery, Checkbook found:

 

• Best-rated one-tenth of surgeons had death rates of less than 6 percent in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge
• Worst-rated one-tenth of surgeons had death rates of more than 18 percent in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge

 

4. For total hip and knee replacement, Checkbook found:

 

• Best-rated one-tenth of surgeons had overall bad-outcome rates of less than 10 percent in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge
• Worst-rated one-tenth of surgeons overall bad-outcome rates of 24 percent or more in the hospital or within 90 days of discharge

 

5. Checkbook also offers insight into the level of surgeon experience with certain procedures and whether other physicians recommend them.

 

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