Shasta County's high surgery rates

Published on
November 18, 2009

This weekend, we ran a story that looked at Shasta County's high rates of hysterectomies and back surgeries, an important -- and touchy -- topic in our community given Redding is still recovering from its years-long ordeal following FBI agents investigating allegations of unnecessary heart procedures performed at what was then Redding Medical Center

I'm quite proud of the work we did using data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a basis for our report. The story and its accompanying sidebars can be found here.

Our database can be perused here. The database is worth a look, especially if you're interested in trends in California's regional medical communities.

For example, if I were a reporter covering Kings or Lake counties, I'd really be asking big questions about why the rates of angioplasties and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries are so high in those areas.

Lake County's residents have more than three times the rate of angioplasties as the rest of California, according to OSHPD's data.

This could all be explained away if it's a glitch in how local hospitals reported the data, but if not, it's a potentially huge topic.