Hospitals with the largest reductions in serious complications after bariatric surgery had the greatest decrease in per-patient Medicare payments, this study finds.
Analyzing 37,329 Medicare patients undergoing bariatric surgery from 2005 to 2006 and 2013 to 2014, researchers found a strong association between reductions in complications and decreased Medicare payments.
The top 20% of hospitals had a decrease in complications of 7.3% and average per-patient savings of $4,861. The bottom 20% of hospitals had a decrease in complications of 0.8% and average per-patients savings of $2,814.
The findings show the potential savings associated with quality improvement in high-risk surgical procedures, the authors say.
Performance improvement. An unprecedented focus on safety in bariatric surgery has led to substantial reductions in complication rates over time, making it an ideal patient population in which to examine this relationship. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of Medicare beneficiaries undergoing bariatric surgery in the years 2005 to 2006 and 2013 to 2014 (total N = 37,329 patients, 562 hospitals).