Today's Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts General Hospital has voluntarily suspended operation of its pediatric cardiac surgery program, following two significant negative outcomes. MGH is conducting an internal investigation, much as UMass Memorial suspended its heart surgery program while investigating higher-than-average CABG mortality rates a while back (see HealthBlawg interview with UMMMC general counsel Doug Brown on its cardiac surgery program). David Torchiana and MGH will certainly be able to identify opportunities for improvement, as did UMMMC, by going through this exercise. UMass Memorial restarted its program after implementing quality improvements it identified through the review process. The question on many minds today is whether it makes sense for MGH to continue to run such a program, with the relatively low volume that it has, given the resources and existing programs of Boston's nearby Children's Hospital.
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting