Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2007-2008 - News Release

Contact: Stephanie Suran, Communications Manager
717-232-6787 or


Harrisburg, PA - September 16, 2010 - In 2008, 2,208 patients (16.1 percent) who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and/or valve surgery were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, according to a new report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4).

“Approximately one in six open heart surgery patients in Pennsylvania were readmitted within 30 days of discharge,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “This illustrates why the medical community, researchers and policymakers are focused on identifying the causes of readmissions and implementing evidence-based strategies to reduce those that are preventable.”

While not all readmissions can be avoided, even with optimal care, they are a significant cost driver. The 2,208 readmissions in this analysis amounted to an additional 11,065 hospital days and over $81 million in additional hospital charges.

“Reducing readmissions requires looking at the processes of care received in the hospital, as well as what happens with patients post-discharge,” said Mr. Martin.

PHC4’s latest report, Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2007-2008, includes information on approximately 31,300 CABG and/or valve surgeries performed in Pennsylvania hospitals in 2007 and 2008 involving four cardiac surgical reporting groups. The report provides information on the number of surgeries performed, in-hospital and 30-day mortality rates, 7-day and 30-day readmission rates, and post-surgical lengths of stay for both hospitals and surgeons. Average hospital charges and average Medicare payments are listed for hospitals only.

Other highlights:

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Copies of the report are free and can be downloaded from PHC4’s website at