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Critical Access Hospitals Perform Well on Common Surgeries

Patients who undergo common surgical procedures at small, rural (critical access) hospitals have similar 30-day mortality rates, lower serious complication rates, and lower Medicare expenditures compared with those who undergo the procedures at non-critical access hospitals, a new study shows.

“[T]hese findings contrast previously published literature about nonsurgical admissions in these same settings and inform legislators about the valuable role critical access hospitals provide in the US health care system,” the researchers write.

Andrew M. Ibrahim, MD, from The Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues report their findings in an article published in the May 17 issue of JAMA.