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

Anthony O. Asemota, Masaru Ishii, Henry Brem, Gary L. Gallia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Geographic variations in health care 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 were 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-level 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 $4685.95, and out-of-pocket payment was $2330.78. Overall total and hospital/facility costs were highest in the West and lowest in the South (both P < 0.001), whereas 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 with microscopic procedures (both P < 0.001); there were no significant differences in physician payments or 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 show significant geographic cost disparities associated with TPS. Understanding factors behind disparate costs is important for developing cost containment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1180-e1198
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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