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October 27, 2015

Time for a More Unified Approach to Pediatric Health Care Policy?The Case of Congenital Heart Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 4Department of Cardiac Surgery, C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2015;314(16):1689-1690. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10166

A recent report in the national media raised an important question: Who is monitoring and safeguarding the care of children with complex health care needs? The article reported on a hospital alleged to have a mortality rate for children undergoing heart surgery more than 3 times higher than the national average, prompting an investigation by the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.1 In August of 2015, the hospital voluntarily closed its congenital heart surgery program. Although many details remain unclear, this investigation has stimulated a long overdue discussion regarding the optimal care of these and other children requiring complex, resource-intensive care.

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