Study Examines Balancing Cost Containment, Quality Care for Surgeries at Children’s Hospitals

Issue 600
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
January 30, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Increased Suicide Rates in Rural Areas

From 1999 to 2015, suicide rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives in nonmetropolitan areas increased from about 21 to 34 per 100,000 people. Rates also increased among whites, from 17 to 25 per 100,000, and among blacks, from 7 to 8 per 100,000. (Source: AHRQ 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, Chartbook on Rural Health Care.)

Today's Headlines:

Study Examines Balancing Cost Containment, Quality Care for Surgeries at Children’s Hospitals

More research is needed to determine how children’s hospitals can keep costs in check while maintaining high-quality specialty surgical care, according to an AHRQ-funded article based on data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database. Researchers reviewed data from 2000 to 2009 identifying all cases of common pediatric surgical procedures. They concluded that the proportion of common surgeries performed at children’s hospitals was outpacing the proportion of surgeries at non-children’s hospitals, despite lack of evidence of higher quality. Costs for certain procedures, meanwhile, were higher at children’s hospitals than non-children’s hospitals, leading to overall growth in the cost of children’s surgery. Access the abstract.

Combining Data From Various Sources Provides Model for Examining U.S. Health Systems

No single national data source provides a complete picture of U.S. health systems, but AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance (CHSP) initiative provides an early model of how data from different sources can be combined to support policy research, a new study found. The CHSP initiative was developed to explore how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices and patient-centered outcomes research in delivering care. The new study, published in eGEMS, analyzed five national data sources that describe systems’ members (e.g., hospitals, physicians) and relationships among them (e.g., hospital ownership of physician groups). Researchers concluded that CHSP provides a model for combining data from different sources despite variations in content, linkages across data sources and collection methods. Access the abstract.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Sign Up Now To Improve Surgical Care and Recovery for Your Hospital Patients

The AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery is enrolling hospitals to participate in a collaborative program to enhance the recovery of surgical patients. The program, funded and guided by AHRQ, is being conducted by the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons. Participants will receive assistance in implementing perioperative evidence-based strategies to improve clinical outcomes, reduce hospital length of stay and improve patients’ experiences. Hospitals in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, are eligible to participate at no cost. To learn more, register for one of three hour long webinars: Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. ET; Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. ET; or Feb. 8 at noon ET. Contact for additional information.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

ICU team composition and its association with ABCDE implementation in a quality collaborative. Costa DK, Valley TS, Miller MA, et al. J Crit Care 2017 Sep 28;44:1-6. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The fate of FDA postapproval studies. Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, White B, et al. N Engl J Med 2017 Sep 21;377(12):1114-17. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Defining and measuring diagnostic uncertainty in medicine: a systematic review. Bhise V, Rajan SS, Sittig DF, et al. J Gen Intern Med 2018 Jan;33(1):103-15. Epub 2017 Sep 21. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Reducing hospital readmissions through preferred networks of skilled nursing facilities. McHugh JP, Foster A, Mor V, et al. Health Aff (Millwood) 2017 Sep 1;36(9):1591-8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Organizational contributors to the variation in red blood cell transfusion practices in cardiac surgery: survey results from the state of Michigan. Camaj A, Zahuranec DB, Paone G, et al. Anesth Analg 2017 Sep;125(3):975-80. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Moving to a more level playing field: the need for risk adjustment of publicly reported hospital CLABSI performance. Talbot TR. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017 Sep;38(9):1025-6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Evidence-based approaches to breaking down language barriers. Squires A. Nursing 2017 Sep;47(9):34-40. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The effect of adding comorbidities to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention central-line-associated bloodstream infection risk-adjustment methodology. Jackson SS, Leekha S, Magder LS, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017 Sep;38(9):1019-24. Epub 2017 Jul 3. Access the abstract on PubMed®.


Contact Information

For comments or questions about AHRQ News Now, contact Bruce Seeman at or (301) 427-1998.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, email: For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Page last reviewed January 2018
Page originally created January 2018
Internet Citation: Study Examines Balancing Cost Containment, Quality Care for Surgeries at Children’s Hospitals. Content last reviewed January 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
Back To Top