December 12, 2017

Impact of reducing postop complications in bariatric Medicare patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

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.



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