February 28, 2018

Study provides first standardized estimates of OR costs

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

Using financial data from California’s short-term and specialty hospitals from FY 2005 to FY 2014, researchers from the UCLA School of Medicine provide the first standardized estimates of OR costs.

The analysis, which focused on two revenue centers–surgery/recovery and ambulatory surgery–found that the mean cost of OR time is $36 to $37 per minute.

Of this amount:

  • $20 to $21 is direct cost
  • $13 to $14 is attributable to wages and benefits
  • $2.50 to $3.50 is attributable to surgical supplies.

Understanding hospital costs is critical to value-based care and will allow those interested in value improvement to identify high-yield targets, the authors say.


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