St. Mary's suspends pediatric heart surgeries following CNN report

St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., has suspended elective pediatric heart surgeries following a damning CNN investigation surrounding the hospital's mortality rate for the procedure, according to CNN.

The original CNN report criticized hospitals for their lack of transparency regarding pediatric heart surgery deaths and claimed St. Mary's mortality rate for open heart surgery is roughly three times the national average.

In a recent statement, the hospital argued the mortality rate was exaggerated because the CNN reporter incorrectly assumed St. Mary's program's volume using Certificate of Need reports, which included only a subset of the procedures performed and reported by the program.

Despite refuting the CNN reporter's claims, St. Mary's Medical Center announced it launched a comprehensive review of its pediatric cardiac surgery program, which includes soliciting and utilizing external experts and bringing in other additional resources.

"We currently have no elective pediatric congenital cardiac surgery cases scheduled, and we do not intend to schedule any until we have completed our review. We carefully considered this decision, including the impact on our ability to get to the appropriate patient volume levels, and believe it is the right thing to do," medical center's statement reads.

In addition to St. Mary's investigation, CMS launched an investigation into the claims this week, saying, "We take these allegations very seriously. CMS is actively investigating these complaints."



More articles on pediatric care:
CNN report on pediatric hospital deaths launches CMS investigation
CNN: Hospitals lack transparency regarding pediatric heart surgery
Study shows pediatric telemedicine consultations can result in cost savings for rural EDs: 3 findings

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