Strategies for Improving Surgical Care:  When Is Regionalization the Right Choice? Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Strategies for Improving Surgical Care:  When Is Regionalization the Right Choice?



abstract/partial view

This Viewpoint considers 3 nuances of the policy debate regarding the regionalization of high-risk surgery by restricting care to high-volume centers of excellence.
Regionalizing high-risk surgery by restricting care to high-volume centers of excellence is a quality-improvement strategy with intuitive appeal. Decades of research have shown that the highest-volume hospitals have better outcomes for major surgery.1 Accordingly, 3 prominent medical centers—Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the University of Michigan—recently announced a “volume pledge” to restrict their own facilities and surgeons from performing any of 10 selected procedures unless they meet volume criteria.2,3 Apart from a voluntary pledge, other policy approaches to regionalization have included the refusal to reimburse low-volume facilities (as Medicare currently does for solid-organ transplants) and tiered insurance benefits (ie, reducing out-of-pocket payments at high-volume hospitals).

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