Local seniors were the third likeliest group of Medicare beneficiaries on the West Coast to undergo elective back surgery in 2010, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care in a report published by the Dartmouth Institute that tracks how Medicare services are used across the country’s 306 hospital referral regions.
Released on Dec. 12, the report found 6.7 out of every 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Bend Hospital Referral Region - an area that includes hospitals in Bend, Burns, John Day, Madras, Prineville and Redmond — underwent this surgery two years ago. The U.S. average rate was 4.7 patients per 1,000. The Ventura, Calif,, and Eugene hospital regions had the West Coast’s first and second highest rates.
— Alandra Johnson and Mac McLean