Cardiac Surgery Report (January 2014 – March 2016 Data) - News Release

Contact: Joe Martin
717-232-6787 or


Harrisburg, PA - January 31, 2017 - Statewide mortality and readmission rates for patients undergoing cardiac surgery continue to decline according to a performance report of Pennsylvania hospitals and cardiac surgeons released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4).

Since 1994, the statewide in-hospital mortality rate decreased 53.4% for CABG (without valve) surgery and since 2005 the in-hospital mortality rate decreased 46.7% for valve surgery patients, translating to 267 lives saved. In fiscal year 2002/2003, 12.8% of patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days following CABG (without valve) surgery. That percentage dropped to 10.6% in fiscal year 2014/2015—a 17.2% decrease. For valve surgery patients, the readmission rate dropped 25.4%, from 17.8% to 13.3% between fiscal years 2005/2006 and 2014/2015. These decreases translate to 373 fewer readmissions and approximately $4.2 million saved.

“These results are examples of how transparency, through public reporting, helps to improve quality and decrease/manage costs,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “Lower mortality and readmission rates also underscore the dedication of Pennsylvania hospitals and heart surgeons to healthy outcomes for their patients,” added Martin.

The Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania report, which is free and available from PHC4’s website at, includes hospital-specific and surgeon-specific mortality and readmission ratings as well as volume of cases. Average charges and average Medicare fee-for-service payments are reported for hospitals. Statewide trends are also examined.

“We encourage Pennsylvanians to use the report to make better informed health care decisions. For example, consumers can check the report as they research cardiac surgeons and hospitals, medical providers can review care indicators to determine steps for improvement, and administrators can use the data to determine steps they can take to improve outcomes and manage costs,” Martin said.

The report covers 29,578 patients who were discharged from a Pennsylvania general acute care hospital after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and/or heart valve surgery between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2016.

Key findings of the report are:

Other Findings:

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 the state. More than 840,000 public reports on patient treatment results are downloaded from the PHC4 website each year and nearly 100 organizations and individuals annually utilize PHC4’s special requests process to access and use data. Created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1986, PHC4 is governed by a 25-member board of directors, representing business, labor, consumers, health care providers, insurers and state government.