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January 13, 1999

Public Performance Reports for Cardiac Surgery

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinklerMDIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorsIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(2):135. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-2-jac80019

To the Editor: The survey results reported by Drs Schneider and Epstein1 pointed to a lack of use by individual consumers of the PennsylvaniaConsumer Guide to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery. However, the primary goals of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council are cost containment and quality improvement. While consumer empowerment is one way to achieve that goal, it is not the only way. Empowering large-group purchasers is another, and that is occurring in Pennsylvania.2 Futhermore, there is evidence that the data have a significant impact on institutional decision making in hospitals.3 A 22% decline in mortality rates for Pennsylvanians receiving bypass procedures since 1991 suggests that the process of public reporting is working.4