Association between Hospital Market Concentration and Costs of Laryngectomy

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Importance: High-volume hospital care for laryngectomy has been shown to be associated with reduced morbidity, mortality, and costs; however, most hospitals in the United States do not perform high volumes of laryngectomies. The influence of market competition on charges and costs for such patients has not been defined. Objective: To examine the association between regional hospital market concentration, hospital charges, and costs for laryngectomy. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify 34193 patients who underwent laryngectomy for a malignant laryngeal or hypopharyngeal neoplasm from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2011. Hospital laryngectomy volume was modeled as a categorical variable. Hospital market concentration was evaluated using a variable-radius Herfindahl-Hirschman Index from the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Hospital Market Structure Files. Statistical analysis was performed from May 19 to August 15, 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariable generalized linear regression was used to evaluate associations between market concentration and total charges and costs for laryngectomy. Results: Among the 34193 patients (19.3% female and 80.7% male; mean age, 62.7 years [range, 20.0-96.0 years]), 69.2% of procedures were performed at hospitals in highly concentrated (noncompetitive) markets and 26.2% were performed at hospitals in unconcentrated (highly competitive) markets. Most high-volume hospitals (68.0%) were located in highly concentrated markets, followed by unconcentrated markets (32.0%). Market share and volume were not associated with significant differences in total charges. Unconcentrated markets were associated with 28% higher costs (95% CI, 8%-53%) relative to moderately concentrated and highly concentrated markets. High-volume hospitals were associated with 22% lower costs (95% CI, -36% to -5%). Conclusions and Relevance: Competition among hospitals is associated with increased costs of care for laryngectomy. High-volume hospital care is associated with lower costs of care. These data suggest that hospital market consolidation of laryngectomy at centers able to meet minimum volume thresholds may improve health care value..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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