Costs & Cost Controls

Latest Issue of OR Manager
October 2017
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Outcomes, costs associated with appendectomy in safety-net hospitals

Editor's Note Safety-net hospitals treat a disproportionate number of patients with advanced appendicitis and use laparoscopy less often, but their rates of morbidity and costs are similar to other hospitals, this study finds. In this analysis of 349 nonfederally funded hospitals in California performing 274,405 appendectomies, safety-net (compared with non-safety-net)…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 10, 2017
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Economic benefits of low-temperature vs steam sterilization of endoscopes

Editor's Note This Australian study finds it is a good economic decision for large healthcare facilities to invest in low-temperature systems for sterilization of steam-sterilizable endoscopes. Increased costs associated with low-temperature systems were outweighed by savings from fewer instrument repairs. Based on their calculations, the researchers estimated a savings of…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2017
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Avoiding blood wastage in the OR can improve bottom line

Keeping a close eye on implants that are opened and not used is one way OR leaders can track practices that add significantly to costs. But what about blood products? Blood taken to the OR and not used also can be costly. Although an individual unit of blood doesn't compare…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
June 20, 2017
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New instrument shows promise as low-cost alternative to robot

Researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M), Ann Arbor, have invented a new surgical instrument with the goal of addressing a vast, unmet need in minimally invasive surgery. For less than a thousand dollars, this platform technology—currently being commercialized by the start-up FlexDex Surgical—offers capabilities similar to those of the…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
June 20, 2017
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Cost data persuade surgeons to be more frugal

Surgeons usually don’t have a high awareness of costs, partly because they haven’t had an easy way to know them. An unfortunate byproduct of this lack of knowledge can be higher OR costs. “Imagine what it’s like if, when you go to the grocery store, there are no price tags,…

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By: OR Manager
June 20, 2017
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Efforts to improve FCOTS may reduce overutilized OR time

Ccommon cost-saving strategies in the OR include increasing workflow efficiency, reducing turnover times, implementing standardized preoperative protocols, and improving surgical case scheduling and first case on-time starts (FCOTS). These interventions aim to decrease under- and overutilized time in the OR, but there is conflicting evidence about their economic value. Many…

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By: OR Manager
June 20, 2017
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Relationship between bariatric surgery outcomes and Medicare expenditures

Editor's Note Medicare payments for bariatric surgery are significantly lower at hospitals with low complication rates, and cost savings are most prominent in patients at highest risk for complications, this study finds. The analysis of 38,374 bariatric surgery patients found a strong correlation between complication rates and episode payments−hospitals in…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 12, 2017
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Study: QI measures reduce readmissions, cost savings vary

Editor's Note Quality improvement (QI) measures can be effective in reducing readmissions, relative to the status quo, but cost savings vary, this meta-analysis finds. In this review of 50 QI studies, interventions reduced readmissions by an average of 12.1% for heart failure patients and 6.3% among the general population. However,…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 1, 2017
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Effect of early discharge after surgery on costs

Editor's Note Early postoperative discharge after major inpatient surgery was associated with lower total surgical episode payments in this study. In this analysis of 639,943 Medicare beneficiaries undergoing colectomy, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), or total hip replacement, payments were significantly lower in hospitals with lowest vs highest length of…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 19, 2017
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Preference card cleanup projected to cut costs across departments

Fine-tuning physician preference cards to reduce instrument use and sterilization is a well-known way to cut costs, but one that is often hard to implement. At Bassett Healthcare (Cooperstown, New York), we had success with a simple intervention involving collaboration with nearly 50 surgeons across multiple departments. We reviewed more…

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By: OR Manager
May 17, 2017
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