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Invited Commentary
March 2014

Shoring Up the Safety Net

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(3):236. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3616

Failure to rescue is defined as the mortality rate for surgical patients with complications, and safety-net burden is the fraction of patients covered by Medicaid or uninsured patients in a hospital’s patient population. In a retrospective Nationwide Inpatient Sample study of more than 46 000 patients undergoing high-risk inpatient operations, Wakeam and colleagues1 found higher odds of failure to rescue in hospitals with a high safety-net burden, despite levels of technology that might be expected to improve rescue rates.

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