St. Luke’s University Health Network performs the highest number of breast and lung cancer surgeries in the Lehigh Valley, while Lehigh Valley Health Network performs the most brain, colon, liver, pancreas, rectum and stomach cancer procedures, according to new data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
The data, released May 23, compares the volumes of 11 types of cancer surgeries performed at hospitals throughout the state from July 2017 through June 2018.
Released as a tool to help cancer patients and their families, the data aims to facilitate decisions about where to go for cancer care, according to Joe Martin, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Containment Council.
“Reporting volume for these cancer surgeries is important because there is strong evidence in the scientific literature that links hospital surgical volume and patient outcomes,” he said.
Martin also said that it is important to look at the full picture when considering cancer care options because hospitals may have a low number of cases for one type of cancer surgery and a high number of cases for another.
For Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s, the difference in number of surgeries performed was most marked in breast, lung and prostate cancers, where St. Luke’s completed more surgeries.
St. Luke’s performed 373 breast cancer procedures, with the Anderson campus performing 217 alone, compared to 203 at Lehigh Valley Health Network.
St. Luke’s completed 113 lung cancer surgeries, while Lehigh Valley completed 58. St. Luke’s undertook 115 prostate surgeries, compared to 58 at Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley, however, performed more pancreatic cancer surgeries, 34, compared to 21 at St. Luke’s. Lehigh Valley also did more brain surgeries, 43, while St. Luke’s did 21. Lehigh Valley also performed slightly more colon, liver, rectum and stomach cancer procedures.
The two health networks were evenly matched in the number of bladder and esophagus cancer surgeries performed.
The report is available here-http://www.phc4.org/reports/csvr/18/docs/csvr2018report.pdf
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and cost of health care in Pennsylvania.