Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2008-2009 - News Release

Contact: Stephanie Suran, Communications Manager
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Harrisburg, PA - May 19, 2011 - Since 1994, Pennsylvania’s in-hospital mortality rates have decreased 52.3 percent for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, according to a new report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). In-hospital mortality rates for these patients declined from 3.23 percent in 1994 to 1.54 percent in 2009 – the lowest point in 16 years.

“Pennsylvania’s doctors, nurses and hospitals should be commended for these significant drops in patient mortality,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “These outcomes are remarkable given that today’s CABG patients have more chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, occurring at the same time and more complex cases of coronary artery disease.”

PHC4’s latest report, Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2008-2009, includes information on 30,956 CABG and/or valve surgeries performed in Pennsylvania hospitals in 2008 and 2009 involving four cardiac surgical reporting groups. It also presents statewide data about cardiac surgery patients who contracted healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in 2009.

“Five percent of cardiac surgery patients contracted an HAI, and these patients had higher mortality rates, more readmissions, and longer stays than patients without infections,” said Mr. Martin. “Among Medicare fee-for-service patients, the payment was 78% higher ($28,000 more) when patients contracted an HAI.”

More Report Highlights:

PHC4’s Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2008-2009 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. Copies of the report are free and can be downloaded from PHC4’s website at

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.