Easing regulations does not mean lower quality of cardiac care

Jan 27, 2009

States that dropped regulations overseeing the performance of two common heart procedures showed no increase in death rates, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Rice University and Duke University Medical Center. The findings are available online in the journal Health Services Research.

The regulations, known as "certificate of need" or CON, require hospitals to obtain approval from a designated state agency before adding new facilities or offering especially costly services, said Vivian Ho, chair in health economics at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and associate professor of medicine at BCM.

"Certificate of need was meant to restrict health care costs and ensure high-quality care," said Ho, who is the lead author of the study. "It makes sure that new hospitals and facilities for specialized treatments aren't popping up where they aren't needed and instead are being spread out to areas where more will benefit."

Federal certificate-of-need regulations for cardiac care expired in 1986, and many states have since discontinued their CON programs. To determine whether health care is affected by a change in regulations, Ho and her colleagues reviewed Medicare inpatient claims between 1989 and 2002 for patients who received coronary artery bypass graft surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions, more commonly known as angioplasty.

"We found no overall increase in mortality rates for bypass or percutaneous procedures after states dropped the regulations," said Ho. "Trends in mortality rates for these procedures were similar across states, whether or not they maintained cardiac certificate of need."

Ho said the next step will be to look at how hospital costs are affected by changing regulations. Removal of cardiac certificate-of-need rules was associated with increased entry of new cardiac-care facilities, which may have raised the average cost per procedure.

The study, titled "Certificate of Need (CON) for Cardiac Care: Controversy Over the Contributions of CON," was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and can be found at www3.interscience.wiley.com/jo… rnal/120120473/issue .

Source: Rice University

Explore further: New exercise program helps dialysis patients take control of their health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

From mice to humans, comfort is being carried by mom

Apr 18, 2013

There is a very good reason mothers often carry their crying babies, pacing the floor, to help them calm down. New research published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 18 shows that infants experience an aut ...

Nanoparticles increase survival after blood loss

Feb 22, 2011

In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve survival after life-threatening ...

Scientists hope 'molecular autopsy' explains puzzling death

Feb 08, 2011

When Richie Quake, a 19-year-old engineering student, was found dead in his bed in Yardley, Pa.,, his family was devastated. But when a conventional autopsy of the apparently healthy young man offered no answers, his ...

Recommended for you

Hospital acquisitions leading to increased patient costs

4 hours ago

The trend of hospitals consolidating medical groups and physician practices in an effort to improve the coordination of patient care is backfiring and increasing the cost of patient care, according to a new study led by the ...

Competition keeps health-care costs low, researchers find

4 hours ago

Medical practices in less competitive health-care markets charge more for services, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

madrocketscientist
not rated yet Jan 27, 2009
Maybe that is because Healthcare is not Starbucks or McDonalds. Market saturation is not a good idea.