New Ranking Tool Aids Consumers In Finding Top-Ranked Surgeons
The "surgeon scorecard," which is Web-based, free and supported by a non-profit consumers group, ranks surgeons in 14 types of major surgery including bypass, and total knee and hip replacement.
The Washington Post:
Need A New Knee? Heart Valve? Back Surgery? This Web Site Could Help You Find The Top Surgeons Near You.
Now a nonprofit consumers group has come out with a free surgeon rating tool that allows consumers to type in a Zip code and search for the top-performing surgeons in 14 types of major surgery. They include: heart valve and bypass surgery, total knee and hip replacement, gastric (stomach), hernia, and spine fusion surgery. The ratings are based on an analysis of federal government records of more than 4 million surgeries performed by more than 50,000 doctors. Using star ratings (5 stars being the best), the group identified surgeons who have better-than-average performances based on three criteria: Death rates; Other bad outcomes, such as infections, falls or other complications that resulted in longer hospital stays; or re-admissions. (Sun, 7/14)
'Surgeon Scorecard' Measures Docs By Complications
Surgeons around the country are now scored against their peers in a new statistic developed by a non-profit news organization that goes beyond hospital-level data, providing a never-before-available tool for consumers and generating debate and some angst in the surgical community. (Penzenstadler, 7/14)
In related news, Bloomberg takes a look at the geographic cost disparity -- sometimes within the same city or region -- that exists for surgical procedures -
Thirty Cities Where The Price Of A New Hip Can Double Across Town
In Dallas, a 15-mile trip can save a patient $12,000 on joint replacement surgery. Coloradans who come down from the mountains for treatment in Denver can save $19,000. And in Maryland, a 9-mile drive from Baltimore to the suburbs can save $36,000. Hospitals sometimes just a few miles apart get paid wildly different prices for hip or knee replacements in much of the U.S., according to an analysis of Medicare data. The public health insurance program for Americans over 65 spends $7 billion on more than 400,000 joint replacements each year. (Tozzi, 7/13)