French Hospital has high heart surgery death rates
April 29, 2013
A state report ranks San Luis Obispo’s French Hospital Medical Center — and a doctor who performs surgeries there — as having some of the highest adjusted mortality rates for heart bypass surgery patients in the state, according to a report released last week by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
French Hospital ranks 115 out of 120 for hospitals in California that host Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgeries. Pismo Beach based surgeon Stephan Freyaldenhoven has the fourth highest adjusted mortality rate, ranking 268 out of 271.
In 2010, of 93 isolated CABG surgeries performed at French Hospital, five patients died.
French Hospital officials did not respond to an email query from CalCoastNews.
CalCoastNews focused on the state’s 95 percent confidence interval for risk-adjusted mortality rates. These rankings are adjusted from the observed mortality rate by factoring in the patient’s specific health indicators and the number of surgeries performed.
For example, even though a physician may have lost one out of two patients, which would be an observed rate of 50 percent, the surgeon may have a better factored rate than a doctor who lost three out of 30 patients.
The state’s reported hospital rates are based on 2010 data, while surgeon grades are based on data from 2009 and 2010. The mortality rates include all deaths which occurred during hospitalization in which the CABG surgery was performed, and any deaths within 30 days after the surgery.
Catholic Healthcare West, a not-for-profit that operates French Hospital, became San Luis Obispo’s only cardiac surgery provider in 2010 after several doctors with a financial interest in French Hospital refused to perform surgeries at other local hospitals.