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31.07.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 11/2018

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 11/2018

Implications of Hospital Volume on Costs Following Esophagectomy in the United States

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery > Ausgabe 11/2018
Autoren:
Gregory T. Kennedy, Benjamin D. Ukert, Jarrod D. Predina, Andrew D. Newton, John C. Kucharczuk, Daniel Polsky, Sunil Singhal

Abstract

Background

With increasing focus on health care quality and cost containment, volume-based referral strategies have been proposed to improve value in high-cost procedures, such as esophagectomy. While the effect of hospital volume on outcomes has been demonstrated, our goal was to evaluate the economic consequences of volume-based referral practices for esophagectomy.

Methods

The nationwide inpatient sample (NIS) was queried for the years 2004–2013 for all patients undergoing esophagectomy. Patients were stratified by hospital volume quartile and substratified by preoperative risk and age. Clustered multivariable hierarchical logistic regression analysis was used to assess adjusted costs and mortality.

Results

In total, 9270 patients were clustered based on annual hospital volume quartiles of < 7, 7 to 22, 23 to 87, and > 87 esophagectomies. After stratification by patient variables, high-volume centers performed esophagectomies in high-risk patients at the same cost as low-volume centers without significant difference in resource utilization. Overall, mortality decreased across volume quartiles (lowest 8.9 versus highest 3.6%, p < 0.0001). The greatest volume-mortality differences were observed among patients aged between 70 and 80 years (lowest 12.2 versus highest 6.2%, p = 0.009). Patients with high preoperative risk also derived mortality benefits with increasing hospital volume (lowest 17.5 versus highest 11.8%, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that the mortality improvements for high-risk patients undergoing esophagectomy at high-volume centers do not come at increased costs. These results suggest that health systems should consider selectively referring high-risk patients to high-volume centers within their region.

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