Care at critical access hospitals can be better and cost less

It is actually safer and less expensive to undergo some common surgical procedures at critical access hospitals, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers examined data for common procedures conducted at 3,600 larger hospitals and 826 community access hospital  and found mortality rates were the same for both facilities for hernia repairs, appendectomies, gallbladder removals and colon surgeries. But post-surgical complications were lower for the critical access patients, and the operations at those facilities cost the Medicare program an average of $1,400 less. The study's authors did note that patients at critical access facilities tend to be healthier than at other hospitals, primarily because physicians tended to send the more acute patients to larger hospitals. Read the full article at FierceHealthcare

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