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Invited Critique
October 18, 2010

“Say It Ain't So, Joe”: Comment on “Hospital Process Compliance and Surgical Outcomes in Medicare Beneficiaries”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(10):1004-1005. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.189

Nicholas et al have produced a provocative study on the relationship between a hospital's surgical outcomes, as measured by mortality rate and major complications, and its compliance with publicly reported quality process measures of the CMS SCIP. They found essentially no relationship with how well a hospital performs on its SCIP measures, as reported on the Hospital Compare Web site, and the associated complication rates for 6 major surgical procedures. The findings of this report are noteworthy because they come from the outcomes measurement laboratory of John D. Birkmeyer, MD, a national leader in research on surgical outcomes and use of the administrative database.

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