Public reporting on aortic valve surgeries has decreased access, study finds

October 11, 2019

Boston - Public reporting on aortic valve replacement outcomes has resulted in fewer valve surgeries for people with endocarditis, a new study has found. The researchers looked at national data from people with injection drug use and non-injection drug use-associated endocarditis and found that these patients were 30 percent less likely to receive valve surgery two years after outcomes data become public than before.

Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the study results indicate a possible unintended consequence of public reporting of outcomes and the need to ensure that patients who require valve surgery actually receive it.

In 2013, the Society of Thoracic Surgery began publicly reporting the outcomes of aortic valve surgeries for individual surgeons and hospitals, including the risk-adjusted in-hospital and 30-day mortality and 30-day morbidity after aortic valve replacement. Data shows that of the nearly 30,000 aortic valve replacements performed each year, the in-hospital mortality for non-endocarditis replacements is less than 2 percent.

Endocarditis is a serious infection of the heart valve that frequently requires valve replacement surgery, and when indicated this surgery is associated with substantial reduction in mortality. However, valve surgery for endocarditis represents only a fraction of all valve surgeries, and the mortality and surgical complication rates for endocarditis-associated valve procedures is much higher than for those done for other reasons.

"Given the mortality and morbidity related to endocarditis, we wanted to examine if the decision to have hospitals and surgeons make their outcomes data publicly reportable would impact whether or not they would do these life-saving surgeries on patients with endocarditis," said Simeon Kimmel, MD, the study's lead author who is an addiction medicine and infectious disease fellow at Boston Medical Center.

The researchers analyzed data from the National Inpatient Sample, which is a representative sample of US inpatient hospitalizations, from Jan. 2010 through Sept. 2015. They included individuals 18-65 years old who were diagnosed with endocarditis, representing 36,542 injection drug use associated endocarditis admissions and 119,316 non-injection drug use associated endocarditis admissions.

After the implementation of public data reporting for aortic valve replacements, the odds of patients receiving this surgery decreased by four percent per quarter with no difference in injection drug use status. The researchers note that the data appears to show that surgeons may be operating less because they are concerned about having bad outcomes on higher-risk cases that would then be publicly reportable.

"The intentions of making this data publicly available were to promote transparency and improve the quality of care, but our study suggests that it may have had the unintended consequence of reducing access to valve replacement surgery, a potentially life-saving procedure for people with endocarditis," added Kimmel.

The authors propose that further studies be conducted to look at the impact of mortality over the long term to better understand the impact of these changes. In addition, they suggest that changes in how endocarditis is risk-adjusted in publicly reported data might help ensure greater access to this surgery for patients with endocarditis.
-end-
This study was funded in part by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 514-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $116 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2017. It is the 15th largest recipient of funding in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet - 14 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit http://www.bmc.org.

Boston Medical Center

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.