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State Rates Cardiac Surgeons by Name

For the first time, information regarding the success rates of individual cardiac surgeons on coronary bypass procedures has been released in California. The state has released reports on cardiac bypass death rates at specific hospitals, but this is the first time that individual surgeons have been listed. 95 percent of heart surgeons were in line with the expected mortality average of just over 3 percent. The surgeons that ranked worse explained their rating as the result of taking on older and sicker patients; some of these surgeons are now saying they will avoid the sickest patients to avoid such rankings. Public policy analysts say that patient mix shouldn’t affect a surgeons overall scores, if risk adjustments are done properly. Failure to adequately adjust to these risks could result in an instance of medical malpractice, not just a bad listing.