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PURPOSE - Standardized care via a unified surgeon preference card for pediatric appendectomy can result in significant cost reduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of cost and outcome feedback to surgeons on value of care in an environment reluctant to adopt a standardized surgeon preference card.
METHODS - Prospective observational study comparing operating room (OR) supply costs and patient outcomes for appendectomy in children with 6-month observation periods both before and after intervention. The intervention was real-time feedback of OR supply cost data to individual surgeons via automated dashboards and monthly reports.
RESULTS - Two hundred sixteen children underwent laparoscopic appendectomy for non-perforated appendicitis (110 pre-intervention and 106 post-intervention). Median supply cost significantly decreased after intervention: $884 (IQR $705-$1025) to $388 (IQR $182-$776), p<0.001. No significant change was detected in median OR duration (47min [IQR 36-63] to 50min [IQR 38-64], p=0.520) or adverse events (1 [0.9%] to 6 [4.7%], p=0.062). OR supply costs for individual surgeons significantly decreased during the intervention period for 6 of 8 surgeons (87.5%).
CONCLUSION - Approaching value measurement with a surgeon-specific (rather than group-wide) approach can reduce OR supply costs while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Level II.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To compare the cost-effectiveness of various treatment strategies in the management of pelvic fracture urethral injuries using decision analysis.
METHODS - Five strategies were modeled from the time of injury to resolution of obstructed voiding or progression to urethroplasty. Management consisted of immediate suprapubic tube (SPT) placement and delayed urethroplasty; primary endoscopic realignment (PER) followed by urethroplasty in failed patients; or PER followed by 1-3 direct vision internal urethrotomies (DVIU), followed by urethroplasty. Success rates were obtained from the literature. Total medical costs were estimated and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were generated over a 2-year follow-up period.
RESULTS - PER was preferred over SPT placement in all iterations of the model. PER followed by a single DVIU and urethroplasty in cases of failure was least costly and used as the referent approach with an average cost-effectiveness of $17,493 per unobstructed voider. The ICER of a second DVIU prior to urethroplasty was $86,280 per unobstructed voider, while the ICER of a third DVIU was $172,205. The model was sensitive to changes in the success rate of the first DVIU, where when the probability of DVIU success is expected to be less than 32% immediate urethroplasty after failed PER is favored.
CONCLUSIONS - Management of pelvic fracture urethral injuries with PER is the preferred management strategy according to the current model. For those who fail PER, a single DVIU may be attempted if the presumed success rate is >32%. In all other cases, urethroplasty following PER is the preferred approach.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the incremental cost-effectiveness of a clinical practice guideline (CPG) compared with "usual care" for treatment of perforated appendicitis in children. Secondary objective was to compare cost analyses using hospital accounting system data versus data in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS).
BACKGROUND - Value-based surgical care (outcomes relative to costs) is frequently touted, but outcomes and costs are rarely measured together.
METHODS - During an 18-month period, 122 children with perforated appendicitis at a tertiary referral children's hospital were treated using an evidence-based CPG. Clinical outcomes and costs for the CPG cohort were compared with patients in the 30-month period before CPG implementation (n = 191 children).
RESULTS - With CPG-directed care, intra-abdominal abscess rate decreased from 0.24 to 0.10 (adjusted risk ratio 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.26-0.75). The rate of any adverse event decreased from 0.30 to 0.23 (adjusted risk ratio 0.82, 95% CI 0.58-1.17). Mean total hospital costs per patient (hospital accounting system) decreased from $16,466 to $10,528 (adjusted absolute difference-$5451, 95% CI -$7755 to -$3147), leading to estimated adjusted total savings of $665,022 during the study period. Costs obtained from the PHIS database also showed reduction with CPG-directed care (-$6669, 95% CI -$8949 to -$4389 per patient). In Bayesian cost-effectiveness analyses, likelihood that CPG was the dominant strategy was 91%.
CONCLUSIONS - An evidence-based CPG increased the value of surgical care for children with perforated appendicitis by improving outcomes and lowering costs. Hospital cost accounting data and pre-existing cost data within the PHIS database provided similar results.
BACKGROUND - Clinical text contains valuable information but must be de-identified before it can be used for secondary purposes. Accurate annotation of personally identifiable information (PII) is essential to the development of automated de-identification systems and to manual redaction of PII. Yet the accuracy of annotations may vary considerably across individual annotators and annotation is costly. As such, the marginal benefit of incorporating additional annotators has not been well characterized.
OBJECTIVES - This study models the costs and benefits of incorporating increasing numbers of independent human annotators to identify the instances of PII in a corpus. We used a corpus with gold standard annotations to evaluate the performance of teams of annotators of increasing size.
METHODS - Four annotators independently identified PII in a 100-document corpus consisting of randomly selected clinical notes from Family Practice clinics in a large integrated health care system. These annotations were pooled and validated to generate a gold standard corpus for evaluation.
RESULTS - Recall rates for all PII types ranged from 0.90 to 0.98 for individual annotators to 0.998 to 1.0 for teams of three, when meas-ured against the gold standard. Median cost per PII instance discovered during corpus annotation ranged from $ 0.71 for an individual annotator to $ 377 for annotations discovered only by a fourth annotator.
CONCLUSIONS - Incorporating a second annotator into a PII annotation process reduces unredacted PII and improves the quality of annotations to 0.99 recall, yielding clear benefit at reasonable cost; the cost advantages of annotation teams larger than two diminish rapidly.
BACKGROUND - The economic burden of treating end-stage renal disease (ESRD) continues to grow. As one response, effective January 1, 2011, Medicare implemented a bundled prospective payment system (PPS, including injectable drugs) for dialysis patients. This study investigated the 5-year budget impact on Medicare under the new PPS of changes in the distribution of patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD), in-center hemodialysis (ICHD), and home hemodialysis (HHD).
METHODS - An Excel-based budget impact model was created to assess dialysis-associated Medicare costs. The model accounted for dialysis access establishment, the current monthly capitation physician payment for ESRD, Medicare dialysis payments (including start-up costs), training, oral drug costs, and the costs and probabilities of adverse events including access failure, hospitalization for access infection, pneumonia, septicemia, and cardiovascular events. United States Renal Data System (USRDS) data were used to project the US Medicare dialysis patient population across time. The baseline scenario assumed a stable distribution of PD (7.7%), HHD (1.3%) and ICHD (91.0%) over 5 years. Three comparison scenarios raised the proportions of PD and HHD by (1) 1% and 0.5%, (2) 2% and 0.75%, and (3) 3% and 1% each year; a fourth scenario held HHD constant and lowered PD by 1% per year.
RESULTS - Under the bundled PPS, scenarios that increased PD and HHD from 7.7% and 1.3% over 5 years resulted in cumulative savings to Medicare of $114.8M (Scenario 1, 11.7% PD and 3.3% HHD at year 5), $232.9M (Scenario 2, 15.7% PD and 4.3% HHD at year 5), and $350.9M (Scenario 3, 19.7% PD and 5.3% HHD at year 5). When the PD population was decreased from 7.7% in 2013 to 3.7% by 2017 with a constant HHD population, the total Medicare payment for dialysis patients increased by over $121.2M.
CONCLUSIONS - Under Medicare bundled PPS, increasing the proportion of patients on PD and HHD vs ICHD could generate substantial savings in dialysis-associated costs to Medicare.
Copyright © 2014 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis.
BACKGROUND - Patients presenting to thoracic surgeons with pulmonary nodules suggestive of lung cancer have varied diagnostic options including navigation bronchoscopy (NB), computed tomography-guided fine-needle aspiration (CT-FNA), (18)F-fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). We studied the relative cost-effective initial diagnostic strategy for a 1.5- to 2-cm nodule suggestive of cancer.
METHODS - A decision analysis model was developed to assess the costs and outcomes of four initial diagnostic strategies for diagnosis of a 1.5- to 2-cm nodule with either a 50% or 65% pretest probability of cancer. Medicare reimbursement rates were used for costs. Quality-adjusted life years were estimated using patient survival based on pathologic staging and utilities derived from the literature.
RESULTS - When cancer prevalence was 65%, tissue acquisition strategies of NB and CT-FNA had higher quality-adjusted life years compared with either FDG-PET or VATS, and VATS was the most costly strategy. In sensitivity analyses, NB and CT-FNA were more cost-effective than FDG-PET when FDG-PET specificity was less than 72%. When cancer prevalence was 50%, NB, CT-FNA, and FDG-PET had similar cost-effectiveness.
CONCLUSIONS - Both NB and CT-FNA diagnostic strategies are more cost-effective than either VATS biopsy or FDG-PET scan to diagnose lung cancer in moderate- to high-risk nodules and resulted in fewer nontherapeutic operations when FDG-PET specificity was less than 72%. An FDG-PET scan for diagnosis of lung cancer may not be cost-effective in regions of the country where specificity is low.
Copyright © 2014 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To determine which work-related injuries are the most frequent and costly.
DESIGN - Secondary analysis of workers' compensation claims data.
SETTING - Data were provided by a large, Maryland workers' compensation insurer from 1998 through 2008.
PARTICIPANTS - Not applicable.
INTERVENTIONS - None.
MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES - For 45 injury types, the number of claims and compensation amount was calculated for total compensation and for medical and indemnity compensation separately.
RESULTS - Back and knee injuries were the most frequently occurring single injury types, whereas heart attack and occupational disease were the most expensive in terms of mean compensation. When taking into account both the frequency and cost of injury (mean cost × number occurrences), back, knee, and shoulder injuries were the most expensive single injury types.
CONCLUSIONS - Successful prevention and management of back, knee, and shoulder injuries could lead to a substantial reduction in the burden associated with work-related injuries.
Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SETTING - A large randomized controlled trial recently showed that for treating latent tuberculous infection (LTBI) in persons at high risk of progression to tuberculosis (TB) disease, a 12-dose regimen of weekly rifapentine plus isoniazid (3HP) administered as directly observed treatment (DOT) can be as effective as 9 months of daily self-administered isoniazid (9H).
OBJECTIVES - To assess the cost-effectiveness of 3HP compared to 9H.
DESIGN - A computational model was designed to simulate individuals with LTBI treated with 9H or 3HP. Costs and health outcomes were estimated to determine the incremental costs per active TB case prevented and per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained by 3HP compared to 9H.
RESULTS - Over a 20-year period, treatment of LTBI with 3HP rather than 9H resulted in 5.2 fewer cases of TB and 25 fewer lost QALYs per 1000 individuals treated. From the health system and societal perspectives, 3HP would cost respectively US$21,525 and $4294 more per TB case prevented, and respectively $4565 and $911 more per QALY gained.
CONCLUSIONS - 3HP may be a cost-effective alternative to 9H, particularly if the cost of rifapentine decreases, the effectiveness of 3HP can be maintained without DOT, and 3HP treatment is limited to those with a high risk of progression to TB disease.
OBJECTIVES - Pancreatic leak is a morbid complication following left pancreatectomy, which results in prolonged hospitalization, additional diagnostic testing and invasive procedures. The present authors have previously demonstrated that mesh reinforcement of stapled left pancreatectomy results in fewer pancreatic leaks. This study was conducted to investigate whether mesh reinforcement also results in cost benefits for the health care system.
METHODS - A cost benefit model was developed to estimate net cost savings from the payer's perspective. The model is based on the results of a randomized, single-blinded trial of mesh versus no mesh reinforcement of the pancreatic remnant after left pancreatectomy. A two-way sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine the model's sensitivity to fluctuations in the cost of mesh and the effectiveness of the mesh in reducing clinically significant leaks.
RESULTS - Average total costs for an episode of care were US$13 337 and US$15 505 for patients who did and did not receive mesh, respectively, which indicates savings of US$2168. Two-way sensitivity analysis showed that, given a probability of 1.9% for developing a clinically significant leak in patients in whom mesh reinforcement was used, the strategy would continue to save costs if mesh were priced at ≤US$1804.
CONCLUSIONS - Mesh reinforcement decreases clinically significant pancreatic leaks. Despite the additional cost of mesh reinforcement, the use of mesh reinforcement results in overall cost savings for the health care system because of the resultant decrease in the occurrence of clinically significant leaks.
© 2013 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.