Steffen Flessa

University of Greifswald, Griefswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

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Publications (110)168.58 Total impact

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    Deutsches Ärzteblatt 08/2015; 112(31):A1330-4. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    Steffen Flessa · Michael Marx
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    ABSTRACT: In 2014 an Ebola epidemic emerged in Western Africa (particularly in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone), which with regard to incidence and prevalence exceeded any previous Ebola epidemic [1]. According to estimates of the World Health Organization more than 26,000 people (including suspected cases) suffered from Ebola until April 2015. About 40 % of them died from this infectious disease [2]. The dynamics and intensity of the epidemic took many experts by surprise. Above all, it represented excessive demands on local health care systems as well as-at least initially-of international organizations tasked with coordinated intervention [3]. From a health economic perspective, especially, the complete dysfunctionality of local health care services is not surprising. The Ebola fever epidemic in Western Africa rather reveals fundamental failures in establishing health policies within those countries as well as in development policies of industrialized nations. In the following, some of these structural defects are outlined and conclusions from the Ebola epidemic are drawn.
    The European Journal of Health Economics 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10198-015-0710-0 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    Stefan Scholz · Baltazar Ngoli · Steffen Flessa
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    ABSTRACT: Health care infrastructure constitutes a major component of the structural quality of a health system. Infrastructural deficiencies of health services are reported in literature and research. A number of instruments exist for the assessment of infrastructure. However, no easy-to-use instruments to assess health facility infrastructure in developing countries are available. Present tools are not applicable for a rapid assessment by health facility staff. Therefore, health information systems lack data on facility infrastructure. A rapid assessment tool for the infrastructure of primary health care facilities was developed by the authors and pilot-tested in Tanzania. The tool measures the quality of all infrastructural components comprehensively and with high standardization. Ratings use a 2-1-0 scheme which is frequently used in Tanzanian health care services. Infrastructural indicators and indices are obtained from the assessment and serve for reporting and tracing of interventions. The tool was pilot-tested in Tanga Region (Tanzania). The pilot test covered seven primary care facilities in the range between dispensary and district hospital. The assessment encompassed the facilities as entities as well as 42 facility buildings and 80 pieces of technical medical equipment. A full assessment of facility infrastructure was undertaken by health care professionals while the rapid assessment was performed by facility staff. Serious infrastructural deficiencies were revealed. The rapid assessment tool proved a reliable instrument of routine data collection by health facility staff. The authors recommend integrating the rapid assessment tool in the health information systems of developing countries. Health authorities in a decentralized health system are thus enabled to detect infrastructural deficiencies and trace the effects of interventions. The tool can lay the data foundation for district facility infrastructure management.
    BMC Health Services Research 05/2015; 15(1):183. DOI:10.1186/s12913-015-0838-8 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute and chronic pancreatitis are common gastroenterological disorders that have a fairly unpredictable long-term course often associated with unplanned hospital readmissions. Little is known about the factors that increase or decrease the risk for a hospital readmission. The aim of this study was to identify positive and negative predictive factors for hospital readmissions of patients with acute and chronic pancreatitis after in-hospital treatment. In a retrospective analysis data from the hospital information and reimbursement data system (HIS) were evaluated for 606 hospital stays for either acute or chronic pancreatitis between 2006 and 2011. Additional clinical data were obtained from a questionnaire covering quality of life and socio-economic status. A total of 973 patient variables were assessed by bivariate and multivariate analysis. Between 2006 and 2011, 373 patients were admitted for acute or chronic pancreatitis; 107 patients of them were readmitted and 266 had only one hospitalization. Predictors for readmission were concomitant liver disease, presence of a pseudocyst or a suspected tumor of the pancreas as well as alcohol, tobacco or substance abuse or coexisting mental disorders. Patients who had undergone a CT-scan were more susceptible to readmission. Lower readmissions rates were found in patients with diabetes mellitus or gallstone disease as co-morbidity. While factors like age and severity of the initial disease cannot be influenced to reduce the readmission rate for pancreatitis, variables like alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse can be addressed in outpatient programs to reduce disease recurrence and readmission rates for pancreatitis. Copyright © 2015 IAP and EPC. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Pancreatology 03/2015; 15(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pan.2015.03.008 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • Endoskopie heute 03/2015; 28(01):75-90. DOI:10.1055/s-0034-1399270 · 0.05 Impact Factor
  • Susan Raths · Olav Götz · Karen Heidorn · Steffen Fleßa
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    ABSTRACT: GERMAN Article In recent years, the trend towards closure of hospital pharmacies is unabated. One explanation is the decrease in the number of hospital beds in Germany. The assessment that external service providers can ensure the supply of a house much more efficiently, appears to be a decisive factor, too. Particularly within the logistic processes there seems to be some potential for optimization. In an empirical study the influence of automation on process structures and process times of picking was investigated. The results are particularly based on process observations and time measurements. The automation as a possible instrument to increase efficiency will be examined by comparing manual and automated picking.
    Krankenhauspharmazie 03/2015; 36(3):123-130.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The German hospital reimbursement system (G-DRG) is incomplete for endoscopic interventions and fails to differentiate between complex and simple procedures. This is caused by outdated methods of personnel-cost allocation. Methods: To establish an up-to-date service catalogue 50 hospitals made their anonymized expense-budget data available to the German-Society-of-Gastroenterology (DGVS). 2.499.900 patient-datasets (2011 - 2013) were used to classify operation-and-procedure codes (OPS) into procedure-tiers (e. g. colonoscopy with biopsy/colonoscopy with stent-insertion). An expert panel ranked these tiers according to complexity and assigned estimates of physician time. From June to November 2014 exact time tracking data for a total 38.288 individual procedures were collected in 119 hospitals to validate this service catalogue. Results: In this three-step process a catalogue of 97 procedure-tiers was established that covers 99 % of endoscopic interventions performed in German hospitals and assigned validated mean personnel-costs using gastroscopy as standard. Previously, diagnostic colonoscopy had a relative personnel-cost value of 1.13 (compared to gastroscopy 1.0) and rose to 2.16, whereas diagnostic ERCP increased from 1.7 to 3.62, more appropriately reflecting complexity. Complex procedures previously not catalogued were now included (e. g. gastric endoscopic submucosal dissection: 16.74). Discussion: This novel service catalogue for GI-endoscopy almost completely covers all endoscopic procedures performed in German hospitals and assigns relative personnel-cost values based on actual physician time logs. It is to be included in the national coding recommendation and should replace all prior inventories for cost distribution. The catalogue will contribute to a more objective cost allocation and hospital reimbursement - at least until time tracking for endoscopy becomes mandatory. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
    Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 03/2015; 53(3):183-198. DOI:10.1055/s-0034-1399199 · 1.05 Impact Factor
  • Marly Schwendler · Claudia Hübner · Steffen Fleßa
    Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 02/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1111/ddg.12526 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Marly Schwendler · Claudia Hübner · Steffen Fleßa
    Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 01/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1111/ddg.12526_suppl · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    Steffen Flessa · Anika Zembok
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes Mellitus Type II (T2DM) is a major and growing medical, social and economic burden in the East-Asian country of Cambodia. However, no economic modelling has been done to predict the number of cases and the budget impact. This paper forecasts the epidemiological and economic consequences of T2DM in Cambodia. The Ministry of Health and related donor agencies are supported to select the most cost-effective interventions against the disease. At the same time this paper demonstrates the relevance and potential of health economic modelling for least developed countries. We developed a Markov-Model for the specific situation of Cambodia. Data was taken from the scientific literature, grey literature in Cambodia and key-informant interviews. The number of people living with T2DM is steadily increasing from 145,000 in the year 2008 to 264,000 in the year 2028 (+82 %). In the year 2008 the diagnosed T2DM patients would incur costs of some 2 million US$ to cover all of diabetes treatment. 57 % of this amount would have to be spent for OAD-therapy, the rest for insulin therapy. In the year 2028 this amount will have grown to some 4 million US$. If all patients (incl. non-diagnosed) had to be paid-for the respective figure would be 5.5 million and 11 million US$. Screening for T2DM is only cost-effective if the sensitivity of the test is high while the unit price is low. The results of this simulation call for targeting the high-risk groups. However, an increased availability of Oral Anti-Diabetic and Insulin Therapy is highly cost-effective. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a major public health challenge in Cambodia. The simulations clearly indicate that prevention and treatment of this disease is highly cost-effective. However, not everything that is cost-effective might be affordable in Cambodia. This country will require external support to ease the growing burden of T2DM.
    12/2014; 4(1):24. DOI:10.1186/s13561-014-0024-4
  • C. Hübner · N.O. Hübner · A. Kramer · S. Flessa
    Value in Health 11/2014; 17(7):A672. DOI:10.1016/j.jval.2014.08.2492 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Societal cost-of-illness in a German sample of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) was calculated for 12 months prior to an outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program, during a year of DBT in routine outpatient care and during a follow-up year. We retrospectively assessed resource consumption and productivity loss by means of a structured interview. Direct costs were calculated as opportunity costs and indirect costs were calculated according to the Human Capital Approach. All costs were expressed in Euros for the year 2010. Total mean annual BPD-related societal cost-of-illness was €28,026 (SD = €33,081) during pre-treatment, €18,758 (SD = €19,450) during the DBT treatment year for the 47 DBT treatment completers, and €14,750 (SD = €18,592) during the follow-up year for the 33 patients who participated in the final assessment. Cost savings were mainly due to marked reductions in inpatient treatment costs, while indirect costs barely decreased. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence that the treatment of BPD patients with an outpatient DBT program is associated with substantial overall cost savings. Already during the DBT treatment year, these savings clearly exceed the additional treatment costs of DBT and are further extended during the follow-up year. Correspondingly, outpatient DBT has the potential to be a cost-effective treatment for BPD patients. Efforts promoting its implementation in routine care should be undertaken.
    Behaviour Research and Therapy 10/2014; 61. DOI:10.1016/j.brat.2014.07.004 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The number of septic and aseptic total hip replacements (THR) revisions will increase, which involves a greater financial burden. We here provide a retrospective consecutive analysis of the major variable direct costs involved in revision THA for aseptic and septic failure. A total of 144 patients (30 septic, 114 aseptic) treated between Jan. 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012 was included. The management of septic THR loosening is much more expensive than that of aseptic loosening ($14,379.8 vs. $5,487.4). This difference is mainly attributable to the two-stage exchange technique used for septic failure (hospital stay: 40.2 vs. 15.6 days) and significantly higher implant costs ($3,930.9 vs. $2,298.2). The septic implantation part is on average $3,384.6 more expensive than aseptic procedures (p < .001).
    The Journal of arthroplasty 10/2014; 29(10). DOI:10.1016/j.arth.2014.04.043 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    H Oberdörfer · C Hübner · R Linder · S Fleßa
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of this study was to determine the addi-tional expenditures for a German statutory health insurance which are induced by patients with mul-ti-resistant bacteria. Therefore a nationwide cross-sectional data analysis using routine data of the health insurance "Techniker Krankenkasse" was conducted. In the consideration of costs we included expenditures for inpatient and outpatient care and on drugs in a time period of 12 months. A control group was matched by age, gender, basic disease, quarterly period and region. On average additional costs of 17 500 Euro per insured were calculated due to the presence of multi-resistant bacteria. The hypothesis was corroborated in that the level of these costs differ widely by age, gender and basic disease.
    Das Gesundheitswesen 09/2014; DOI:10.1055/s-0034-1387709 · 0.62 Impact Factor
  • M Wübbeler · G Aßmann · S Blaut · S Lueke · W Hoffmann · S Fleßa
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Since the 1980s dementia residential communities (DRC) have been established as part of the health-care landscape and as an alternative to inpatient long-term nursing care. Information about (a) the residents (b) the care potential and (c) the cost of DRCs are still lacking. Methods: A nation-wide postal questionnaire was sent to n=332 DRCs managed by n=151 organizations. The sample was based on an internet search with various combinations of search terms such as "outpatient" and "residential care communities". The questionnaire contained questions about the resident's social-demography, nursing care level and the utilization, financing and cost structures of DRCs. Results: In total 81 organizations with n=88 DRCs replied to the questionnaire. Overall n=794 persons were living in these communities, most of the residents were female (80%, n=522), and 67% of the residents were older than 80 years. The nursing care level was high, 27% of the DRC residents reached the highest stage. Only 5% of the DRCs capacity was vacant. 86% of the communities stated to be able to provide nursing care for the residents until the end of their life. Almost half (48%) of the residents received money from the social welfare. The total average amount of cost per place per month was 3 265.08€ (excluding costs of services related to health insurance). Conclusions: DRCs are caring for residents with high nursing care levels. Costs of these communities vary to a large extent but are in addition comparable to inpatient long-term nursing care. Thus, interested persons should obtain information about cost, financing and care concepts. The low level of vacant capacity demonstrates the demand for DRCs in Germany. Studies with the objective to evaluate quality of care, care concepts and suitable clients for those communities are needed to develop this living concept.
    Das Gesundheitswesen 09/2014; DOI:10.1055/s-0034-1384566 · 0.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Results of cost-of-illness studies in dementia have shown a considerable divergence in costs of medication for persons with dementia. However, detailed economic analyses of medication costs for community-dwelling persons with dementia are currently still missing, especially on the basis of primary data. Objective: To determine medication cost, cost per drug, and number of drugs taken of community-dwelling persons with dementia and analyze their associated factors; to estimate the current price reduction of anti-dementia drugs due to implementation of low-priced generics. Method: The present analysis included 205 patients screened positive for dementia. Medication data were assessed within a medication review. To estimate the cost effect of implementing generics, the most favorable equivalent generic was assigned to each anti-dementia drug. Factors associated with medication cost, cost per drug, and number of drugs taken were evaluated using multiple regression models. Results: Medication cost and cost per drug were higher and the number of taken drugs lower in advanced stages of cognitive impairment. Prescription of anti-dementia generics could decrease overall medication cost by 28%. Medication cost was associated with number of diagnoses, deficits in activities of daily living, and age. Dementia severity was related to cost per drug and number of drugs taken. Conclusion: Medication cost increases with the number of diagnoses and growing deficits in activities of daily living and decreases with age. Severely cognitively impaired persons are treated with a small number of high-priced drugs, which could suggest inadequate medication of multimorbid persons.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 08/2014; 42(3). DOI:10.3233/JAD-140804 · 4.15 Impact Factor
  • Pancreatology 06/2014; 14(3):S99. DOI:10.1016/j.pan.2014.05.713 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Individualized Medicine aims at providing optimal treatment for an individual patient at a given time based on his specific genetic and molecular characteristics. This requires excellent clinical stratification of patients as well as the availability of genomic data and biomarkers as prerequisites for the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies. The University Medicine Greifswald, Germany, has launched the "Greifswald Approach to Individualized Medicine" (GANI_MED) project to address major challenges of Individualized Medicine. Herein, we describe the implementation of the scientific and clinical infrastructure that allows future translation of findings relevant to Individualized Medicine into clinical practice. Methods/design: Clinical patient cohorts (N > 5,000) with an emphasis on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases are being established following a standardized protocol for the assessment of medical history, laboratory biomarkers, and the collection of various biosamples for bio-banking purposes. A multi-omics based biomarker assessment including genome-wide genotyping, transcriptome, metabolome, and proteome analyses complements the multi-level approach of GANI_MED. Comparisons with the general background population as characterized by our Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) are performed. A central data management structure has been implemented to capture and integrate all relevant clinical data for research purposes. Ethical research projects on informed consent procedures, reporting of incidental findings, and economic evaluations were launched in parallel.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 05/2014; 12(1):144. DOI:10.1186/1479-5876-12-144 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    C Hübner · N-O Hübner · K Hopert · S Maletzki · S Flessa
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    ABSTRACT: Infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are assumed to have a high economic impact due to increased hygienic measures and prolonged hospital length of stay. However, surveys on the real expenditure for the prevention and treatment of MRSA are scarce, in particular with regard to the German Diagnosis-Related Groups (G-DRG) payment system. The aim of our study is to empirically assess the additional cost for MRSA management measures and to identify the main cost drivers in the whole process from the hospital's point of view. We conducted a one-year retrospective analysis of MRSA-positive cases in a German university hospital and determined the cost of hygienic measures, laboratory costs, and opportunity costs due to isolation time and extended lengths of stay. A total of 182 cases were included in the analysis. The mean length of hospital stay was 22.75 days and the mean time in isolation was 17.08 days, respectively. Overall, the calculated MRSA-attributable costs were 8,673.04 per case, with opportunity costs making up, by far, the largest share (77.45 %). Our study provides a detailed up-to-date analysis of MRSA-attributed costs in a hospital. It allows a current comparison to previous studies worldwide. Moreover, it offers the prerequisites to investigate the adequate reimbursement of MRSA burden in the DRG payment system and to assess the efficiency of targeted hygienic measures in the prevention of MRSA.
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 05/2014; 33(10). DOI:10.1007/s10096-014-2131-x · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The study objective was to identify the size of different hospital financing sources for different hospital services and their impact on the uninsured. Methods A panel dataset of 84 public general hospitals (2005–2008) with cross-section data on hospital activity and hospital revenue was created and used to calculate unit costs of different hospital services by applying multiple regression models. The resulting risk of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) was estimated based on official income statistics. Results Average user fees (UF) for outpatient visits and inpatient bed days were US$4.13 and US$20.27, while actual full costs (AFC) were US$8.41 and US$36.66, respectively. These unit costs were 2.5 times higher in hospitals at the central versus the provincial level. UF for surgical inpatient bed days were 3.6 times that of non-surgical treatments (US$47.50 vs. 12.87) and AFC 5.0 times (US$101.72 vs. 20.08). UF accounted for 44.6%-77.9% of the AFC, the rest (22.1%-55.4%) was provided by direct government support (DGS). One surgical inpatient treatment at either central or provincial hospital level and one non-surgical inpatient treatment at central hospital level, immediately pushed uninsured near-poor households at risk of CHE. Conclusions Around 45% of hospital AFC was paid by DGS, the larger rest by UF. UF have become a great financial burden on the uninsured near-poor households, who have to pay for these out-of-pocket and therefore may not utilize even necessary services. If the rate of DGS were reduced, this would have the effect of increasing UF, but the savings to Government could be spent on subsidizing insurance to ensure that a larger part of the population can cover UF through insurance, especially the near-poor households.
    International Journal for Equity in Health 05/2014; 13(1):40. DOI:10.1186/1475-9276-13-40 · 1.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

658 Citations
168.58 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2015
    • University of Greifswald
      • • Faculty of Law and Economics
      • • Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology
      Griefswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • 2011
    • Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2004–2005
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • Institute of Public Health
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2003
    • Evangelische Hochschule Nürnberg
      Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2000
    • University of Applied Sciences
      Gieben, Hesse, Germany