Article

The Financial Burden of Hospitalization Associated With Odontogenic Infections

Former Chief Resident, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, Richmond, VA
Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery: official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2013; 71(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.joms.2012.11.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Although it is generally agreed that there are high costs involved in the management of acute odontogenic infections in hospitalized patients, there are sparse data on the actual amounts involved. The purpose of this study was to examine the costs and charges associated with the treatment of such patients in a university medical center hospital. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Hospital records from 2003 through 2010 were reviewed for patients admitted for management of acute odontogenic infections, and 327 patients were identified. The cost of their hospital care, doctors' fees, and hospital charges (amount billed) were then determined. RESULTS: An average of 40 patients was seen each year. The cost of their care ranged from $1,035 to $252,888 (average, $9,417). This did not include doctors' charges. The hospital charges averaged $28,841 per patient. Over the 8-year period, the hospital costs exceeded $3.3 million and the charges submitted were in excess of $10 million. CONCLUSIONS: The management of acute odontogenic infections in the hospital engenders considerable costs. Although it would appear that the charges compensate for these costs, that figure does not represent the amount actually collected, which is much less based on the economic status of the patient population generally being treated. Methods to lower the costs associated with hospitalization are proposed.

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