Excess Costs Attributable to Postoperative Complications
ABSTRACT This article estimates excess costs associated with postoperative complications among inpatients treated in Veterans Health Administration (VA) hospitals. The authors conducted an observational study on 43,822 hospitalizations involving inpatient surgery in one of 104 VA hospitals during fiscal year 2007. Hospitalization-level cost regression analyses were performed to estimate the excess cost of each of 18 unique postoperative complications. The authors used generalized linear modeling techniques to account for the heavily skewed cost distribution. Costs were measured using an activity-based cost accounting system and complications were assessed based on medical chart review conducted by the VA 'National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. The authors found excess costs associated with postoperative complications ranging from $8,338 for "superficial surgical site infection" to $29,595 for "failure to wean within 24 hours in the presence of respiratory complications." The results obtained suggest that quality improvement efforts aimed at reducing postoperative complications can contribute significantly to lowering of hospital costs.
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ABSTRACT: Among surgical oncology patients, incisional surgical site infection is associated with substantially increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Moreover, while adults undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy with preoperative placement of an intrabiliary stent have a high risk of this type of infection, and wound protectors may significantly reduce its risk, no relevant studies of wound protectors yet exist involving this patient population. This study will evaluate the efficacy of a dual-ring wound protector for prevention of incisional surgical site infection among adults undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy with preoperatively-placed intrabiliary stents.BMJ Open 08/2014; 4(8):e005577. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005577 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Frailty is a predictor of poor outcomes following many types of operations. We measured thoracic surgeons' accuracy in assessing patient frailty using videos of standarized patients demonstrating signs of physical frailty. We compared their performance to that of geriatrics specialists. Methods: We developed an anchored scale for rating degree of frailty. Reference categories were assigned to 31 videos of standarized patients trained to exhibit five levels of activity ranging from "vigorous" to "frail." Following an explanation of frailty, thoracic surgeons and geriatrics specialists rated the videos. We evaluated inter-rater agreement and tested differences between ratings and reference categories. The influences of clinical specialty, clinical experience, and self-rated expertise were examined. Results: Inter-rater rank correlation among all participants was high (Kendall's W 0.85) whereas exact agreement (Fleiss' kappa) was only moderate (0.47). Better inter-rater agreement was demonstrated for videos exhibiting extremes of behavior. Exact agreement was better for thoracic surgeons (n = 32) than geriatrics specialists (n = 9; p = 0.045), whereas rank correlation was similar for both groups. More clinical years of experience and self-reported expertise were not associated with better inter-rater agreement. Conclusions: Videos of standarized patients exhibiting varying degrees of frailty are rated with internal consistency by thoracic surgeons as accurately as geriatrics specialists when referenced to an anchored scale. Ratings were less consistent for moderate degrees of frailty, suggesting that physicians require training to recognize early frailty. Such videos may be useful in assessing and teaching frailty recognition.PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e98654. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0098654 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Reoperative surgery is suspected, but not proven, to increase postoperative complication rates. In the absence of a specific definition for reoperative surgery, the American College of Surgeons NSQIP has proposed using procedural coding for lysis of adhesions (LOA) as a surrogate for reoperative surgery to risk adjust hospitals. We hypothesized that coding of reoperative surgery will be associated with worse 30-day outcomes and, for abdominal procedures, will be more accurate than operative dictation and coding of “lysis of adhesions.” Study Design Reoperative surgery was categorized at the time of data abstraction from February 2012 to December 2012 for all NSQIP cases collected at a single institution by independent surgical clinical reviewers. Reoperative surgery classification and coding of LOA were compared with each other and with 30-day outcomes. The setting was a tertiary cancer center, multispecialty NSQIP model. During the study period, 1,289 operations were classified as nonreoperative (n = 793), regionally reoperative (n = 39; prior surgery in an adjacent area of current operation), or locally reoperative (n = 457; prior surgery at same site or organ). Results In the multispecialty cohort, the non−risk-adjusted rates of overall 30-day morbidity, serious morbidity, and mortality were 21.5%, 17.7%, and 0.5%. Compared with nonreoperative surgery (overall 30-day morbidity 16.8%, serious morbidity 13.9%, and mortality .38%), both regionally reoperative surgery (overall 30-day morbidity 30.8%, serious morbidity 28.2%, and mortality 2.5%) and locally reoperative surgery (overall 30-day morbidity 28.9%, serious morbidity 23.4%, and mortality .66%) were associated with worse outcomes (p < 0.001). One hundred ninety-nine of the 327 gastrointestinal/laparotomy cases were recorded as reoperative, but only of 20 of these were CPT coded as LOA (sensitivity = 10%). Conclusions Reoperative surgery is frequent, increases the risk of complications, and can be captured. Operative LOA coding vastly under reports reoperative surgery and, therefore, is not an adequate surrogate for this important risk factor.Journal of the American College of Surgeons 07/2014; 219(1):143–150. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2014.03.024 · 4.45 Impact Factor