HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released today a new resource to help cancer patients and their families make decisions about cancer surgical care in Pennsylvania.
The new reporting tool shows the number of cancer-related surgeries performed at Pennsylvania hospitals in Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017). Hospital surgical volume is reported for 11 types of cancers including bladder, brain, breast, colon, esophageal, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and stomach cancer. Readers can sort the data based on county, hospital, and number of cases for each cancer surgery type.
“Reporting volume for these cancer surgeries is important because there is strong evidence in the scientific literature that links hospital surgical volume and patient outcomes,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “It’s another tool for cancer patients and their families to use when considering treatment options.”
The analysis shows that many hospitals performed only one or two surgeries for some of these cancers, especially for those cancers with the lowest statewide surgery totals (bladder, esophagus, liver, pancreas, rectum, and stomach). For these six cancers, more than a third of the hospitals performed only one or two surgeries in FY 2017 as highlighted in the table below.
Martin points out that, “Hospitals could have a low number of cases for one type of cancer surgery and a high number of cases for another, so it’s important to look at the full picture when considering options.” The report notes, in particular, that while the volume of cases generally reflects the experience a hospital has with performing each type of surgery, patients should use volume data in consultation with their physicians when making decisions about quality care since many factors may contribute to the overall outcome.
The reporting tool is available on PHC4’s website at www.phc4.org. You can also link to it through social media on Facebook and Twitter.
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.