Geographic Variation in Costs of Transsphenoidal Pituitary Surgery in the United States.


Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Geographic variations in healthcare costs have been reported for many surgical specialties.
OBJECTIVE : In this study, we sought to describe national and regional costs associated with transsphenoidal pituitary surgery (TPS).
METHODS : Data from the Truven-MarketScan 2010-2014 was analyzed. We examined overall total, hospital/facility, physician, and out-of-pocket payments in patients undergoing TPS including technique-specific costs. Mean payments were obtained after risk-adjustment for patient- and system-level confounders and estimated differences across regions.
RESULTS : The estimated overall annual burden was $43 million/year in our cohort. The average overall total payment associated with TPS was $35,602.30, hospital/facility payment was $26,980.45, physician payment was $4,685.95, and out-of-pocket payment was $2,330.78. Overall total and hospital/facility costs were highest in the West and lowest in the South (both P<0.001), while physician reimbursements were highest in the North-east and lowest in the South (P<0.001). There were no differences in out-of-pocket expenses across regions. On a national level, there were significantly higher overall total and hospital/facility payments associated with endoscopic compared to microscopic procedures (both P<0.001); there were no significant differences in physician payments nor out-of-pocket expenses between techniques. There were also significant within-region cost differences in overall total, hospital/facility, and physician payments in both techniques as well as in out-of-pocket expenses associated with microsurgery. There were no significant regional differences in out-of-pocket expenses associated with endoscopic surgery.
CONCLUSIONS : Our results demonstrate significant geographical cost disparities associated with TPS. Understanding factors behind disparate costs is important for developing cost containment strategies.


Geographic variation,Hospital/facility costs,Out-of-pocket payments,Physician reimbursements,Regional disparities,Socioeconomics,Transsphenoidal pituitary surgery,

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