Mortality rates at Critical Access Hospitals vary for top Orthopedic procedures
You would think that a simple knee replacement surgery would not result in death. This is not always the case and the odds of death from knee replacement surgery increase when the procedure is performed at small rural hospitals also known as critical-access hospitals.
The Wall Street Journal noted on December 25, 2015 that patients are 34% more likely to die within 30 days getting the five most common major orthopedic procedures if they have these procedures at critical-access hospitals versus the safer alternative of general hospitals. The Journal noted that Dr. Jha and associates at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reviewed the Journal’s findings using a statistical method that corrects for the effects of patients’ varying health conditions, ages and other factors. That analysis found the 30-day mortality rate for inpatient joint replacements was about 9 per 1,000 at critical-access hospitals in 2013, compared with around 5 in 1,000 at general hospitals.
Critical Access Hospitals are under increasing pressure to improve patient surgical outcomes with stricter quality assurance and physician peer review programs.