Rates of Anti-Reflux Procedures Not Consistent Among Pediatric Hospitals

Published Online: Monday, June 9, 2014
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A recent study found that rates of anti-reflux procedures vary greatly among pediatric hospitals and that there are no standardized guidelines for referrals for such procedures. 

While few children develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that is severe enough to warrant surgery, those who aspirate, fail to respond to medical management, or have issues with medication dependence, tolerance, or adherence are generally good candidates for a procedure.

Although the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) recommends operative therapy for children with GERD who have intractable symptoms, as well as those at risk for life-threatening complications, pediatric hospitals report widely varying rates of anti-reflux procedures (ARP). Most quality-measuring organizations believe this inconsistency among institutions represents an opportunity to improve care and save money.

In a study published in the May 2014 issue of Surgery, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis revealed the lack of standardized referral guidelines for pediatric subspecialists is likely the cause of the variation in ARP rates across hospitals.

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