Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) Releases Cardiac Surgery Report

St. Joseph sees continuing growth with valve procedures and remains ‘value’ leader

St. Joseph Regional Health Network continues to be the value provider for heart surgeries in the region, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania, report released today about hospitals and surgeons covering the period of July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2012.

The report noted that St. Joseph had significantly lower charges compared to the state-wide average for all Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts (CABG) and Valve procedures for the entire length of stay,

resulting in lower charges than other hospitals in most categories.  For instance, according to the PHC4 report, the average hospital charge for Valve Surgery with CABG was $219,839.  That same surgery at St. Joseph was charged at $136,189.   While each hospital’s charge structure may vary in important ways, charges represent a consistent, though imperfect, way to compare health care costs among providers. (Below St. Joseph is compared to state-wide numbers as well as to the two geographically closest hospitals that offer the same services.) 

The report also noted that surgeries to repair heart valves are increasing statewide.  St. Joseph’s growth in minimally invasive valve surgery, combined with its Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, confirms the trend and signals the expanding capabilities at non-academic medical centers to successfully perform complex procedures.

Lori Shober, The Director of the St. Joseph Heart Institute, says “our physicians offer a comprehensive skill set of surgical capabilities including procedures for coronary revascularization, aortic and mitral valve replacements and repairs, and tricuspid valve repairs.”

“Our surgeons have the experience and expertise to perform high risk and complex operations such as multiple valve repair in combination with revascularization.  The team also performs minimally invasive mitral valve and aortic valve repairs and replacements, open aortic surgery and endovascular thoracic aortic procedures,” Shober explains.

The report also noted that state-wide in-hospital mortality for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) and Valve surgery continues to decrease, while readmissions associated with CABG and Valve surgeries continue to decrease year over year. 

St. Joseph’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Section Chief, Dr. Kirk McMurtry, also performed the most valve surgeries in Berks during the period studied, according to the report.

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Chart Source: Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, 2011/2012 Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania


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