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Outpatient urological surgery costs significantly less when performed in physician offices & ACCs
Date:10/25/2012

Philadelphia, PA, October 22, 2012 More and more outpatient surgical procedures are being done at nonhospital-based facilities such as freestanding ambulatory surgical centers and physician offices, instead of at hospital-based outpatient departments. A new study comparing the cost to Medicare of 22 urological surgical procedures performed in each setting has found that ambulatory surgery centers and physician offices are less costly than hospitals. The results are published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

"Our findings indicate that for comparable procedures, hospitals were associated with significantly higher payments than ambulatory surgical centers and the physician office," says lead investigator John M. Hollingsworth, MD, Department of Urology, Dow Division of Health Services Research and Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "In fact, offloading 50% of the procedures from hospitals to ambulatory surgery centers would save the Medicare program nearly $66 million annually."

Investigators examined national Medicare claims from 1998 to 2006, identifying elderly patients who underwent one of 22 common outpatient urological procedures. They measured all relevant payments made within 30 days of the procedure to capture any costs that may have resulted from postoperative complications and unexpected hospitalizations. They assessed the extent to which hospital payments, professional services, and facility payments vary by the ambulatory care setting where a procedure is performed.

The authors found that 88% of the procedures examined were performed at an ambulatory surgical center or physician office. Ambulatory surgical centers and physician offices were less costly than hospitals for all but two of the procedures. For instance, average adjusted total payments for urodynamic procedures performed at ambulatory surgical centers were less than a third of those done
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Contact: Linda Gruner
jumedia@elsevier.com
212-633-3923
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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