Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Surgical Cost Disclosure May Reduce Operating Room Expenditures

 2016 Nov 22:1-6. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20161116-03. [Epub ahead of print]

Surgical Cost Disclosure May Reduce Operating Room Expenditures.


Health care expenditures are rising in the United States. Recent policy changes are attempting to reduce spending through the development of value-based payment systems that rely heavily on cost transparency. This study was conducted to investigate whether cost disclosure influences surgeons to reduce operating room expenditures. Beginning in 2012, surgeon scorecards were distributed at a regional health care system. The scorecard reported the actual direct supply cost per case for a specific procedure and compared each surgeon's data with those of other surgeons in the same subspecialty. Rotator cuff repair was chosen for analysis. Actual direct supply cost per case was calculated quarterly and collected over a 2-year period. Surgeons were given a questionnaire to determine their interest in the scorecard. Actual direct supply cost per rotator cuff repair procedure decreased by $269 during the study period. A strong correlation (R2=0.77) between introduction of the scorecards and cost containment was observed. During the study period, a total of $39,831 was saved. Of the surgeons who were queried, 89% were interested in the scorecard and 56% altered their practice as a result. Disclosure of surgical costs may be an effective way to control operating room spending. The findings suggest that providing physicians with knowledge about their surgical charges can alter per-case expenditures. 

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