Florida children's hospitals may have to post heart surgery death rates online

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Johns Hopkins All Children's and other children's hospitals in Florida may have to publish mortality statistics about their heart surgery programs under a new state proposal, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A state panel is considering requiring Florida children's hospitals to post the number of deaths at their heart surgery programs and update those numbers as often as every six months. Members of the state panel could finalize the proposal by January.

The proposal comes two weeks after the Tampa Bay Times published an investigative report detailing how the mortality rate at All Children's heart institute tripled between 2015 and 2017. The hospital had the highest mortality rate of any pediatric heart surgery program in Florida in 2017, according to the report.

An All Children's spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times the hospital would support the panel's proposition to post more statistics online.

In light of the investigation and increased scrutiny, the health system said Dec. 1 that the following All Children's executives had resigned: CEO Jonathan Ellen, MD; Vice President Jackie Crain; and Jeffrey Jacobs, MD, the deputy director of the hospital's heart institute. Paul Colombani, MD, stepped down as chair of the department of surgery, but he will "continue in a clinical capacity" at the hospital.

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