Despite the staggering number of Californians who are diagnosed with cancer each year-- 155,920 new cases in 2014-- there is very little information available to guide decision making about where to have cancer surgery, not only for patients and providers but also for payers and policymakers. This report is part of a groundbreaking effort to make cancer surgery volume data about California hospitals readily available to the public for the first time.
This report describes key findings from an analysis of aggregated hospital cancer surgery volume data, and summarizes interviews with leaders at hospitals where these surgeries were performed infrequently to understand the factors behind the numbers. This paper accompanies the public release of California hospital data on the volume of cancer surgeries: People can now readily look up the number of surgeries performed at California hospitals for 11 cancer types a www.calqualitycare.org. The goal of sharing these findings is to inform stakeholders, including patients, providers, payers, and policymakers, in their decision-making, and ultimately to improve the quality of cancer care delivered to Californians.