Researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reviewed 828 Medicare beneficiary admissions to critical access hospitals for one of four common types of surgery (appendectomy, gall bladder removal, removal of all or part of the colon and hernia repair) and compared it with 3,676 admissions to non-critical access hospitals for the same procedures. They compared risk-adjusted outcomes and adjusted for patient factors, admission type and type of operation.
When they compared outcomes and cost, there was no statistically significant difference in 30-day mortality rates between critical access hospitals and non-critical access hospitals. Also, critical access hospitals had lower rates of serious complications (6.4% vs. 13.9%) and lower Medicare expenditures than non-critical access hospitals.
See report from the Today Show