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Health Aff (Millwood). 2007 Jan-Feb;26(1):162-8.

U.S. trends in CABG hospital volume: the effect of adding cardiac surgery programs.

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.


Hospital coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) volume is inversely related to mortality--with low-volume hospitals having the highest mortality. Medicare data (1992-2003) show that the number of CABG procedures increased from 158,000 in 1992 to a peak of 190,000 in 1996 and then fell to 152,000 in 2003, while the number of hospitals performing CABG increased steadily. Predictably, the proportion of CABG procedures performed at low-volume hospitals increased, and the proportion in high-volume hospitals declined. An unintended consequence of starting new cardiac surgery programs is declining CABG hospital volume--a side effect that might increase mortality.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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