CHA News Article

Report Examines Cancer Surgeries in California Hospitals

The California HealthCare Foundation has released a report describing its analysis of aggregated hospital cancer surgery volume data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Titled Safety in Numbers: Cancer Surgeries in California Hospitals, the report describes variation in volumes of cancer procedures; it does not address mortality or complications. It accompanies the public release of California hospital data on the volume of cancer surgeries at, where it is now possible to look up the number of surgeries performed at California hospitals for 11 cancer types.

Key report findings include:

  • The majority of California’s hospitals performed surgery for one or more of 11 cancers — bladder, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum and stomach — only once or twice in 2014.
  • The 249 hospitals that performed only one or two of the 11 cancer procedures in 2014 are mostly urban but also rural, and they are equally split between small and large hospitals.
  • Of cancer patients who had surgery at a hospital that did a small number of those surgeries in 2014, 75 percent were within 50 miles of a hospital performing higher volumes.

Over the past several months, the Hospital Quality Institute and CHA have reached out to leaders at many of the hospitals and systems identified in the report to discuss the findings and future actions. For additional information or questions, please contact HQI CEO Julie Morath, RN or CHA Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Perrott.

The newly released data and the accompanying report are available for download on the California Health Care Foundation website.