Do Surgeons' Complication Rates Reflect Their Competence?
An online database allows patients to look up death and complication rates for surgeons performing certain elective procedures.
ProPublica, a non-profit news outlet, has made available an online database that enables patients to look up death and complication rates for surgeons performing 1 of 8 elective procedures, including prostate resection, radical prostatectomy, hip replacement, laparoscopic gall bladder removal, lumbar spinal fusion using the posterior technique, lumbar fusion using the anterior technique, and cervical spinal fusion. The organization calculated these rates using Medicare data. On its website, ProPublica noted that from 2009 to 2013, 63,173 Medicare patients were readmitted with complications and 3,405 died during a hospital stay for elective surgery.
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