Inpatient pediatric tonsillectomy: Does hospital type affect cost and outcomes of care?

Nikhila Raol, Cheryl K. Zogg, Emily F. Boss, Joel S. Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To ascertain whether hospital type is associated with differences in total cost and outcomes for inpatient tonsillectomy. Study Design Cross-sectional analysis of the 2006, 2009, and 2012 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). Subjects and Methods Children ≤18 years of age undergoing tonsillectomy with/without adenoidectomy were included. Risk-adjusted generalized linear models assessed for differences in hospital cost and length of stay (LOS) among children managed by (1) non-children's teaching hospitals (NCTHs), (2) children's teaching hospitals (CTHs), and (3) nonteaching hospitals (NTHs). Risk-adjusted logistic regression compared the odds of major perioperative complications (hemorrhage, respiratory failure, death). Models accounted for clustering of patients within hospitals, were weighted to provide national estimates, and controlled for comorbidities. Results The 25,685 tonsillectomies recorded in the KID yielded a national estimate of 40,591 inpatient tonsillectomies performed in 2006, 2009, and 2012. The CTHs had significantly higher risk-adjusted total cost and LOS per tonsillectomy compared with NCTHs and NTHs ($9423.34/2.8 days, $6250.78/2.11 days, and $5905.10/2.08 days, respectively; P <.001). The CTHs had higher odds of complications compared with NCTHs (odds ratio [OR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.15-1.91; P =.002) but not when compared with NTHs (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.89-1.59; P =.23). The CTHs were significantly more likely to care for patients with comorbidities (P <.001). Conclusion Significant differences in costs, outcomes, and patient factors exist for inpatient tonsillectomy based on hospital type. Although reasons for these differences are not discernable using isolated claims data, findings provide a foundation to further evaluate patient, institutional, and system-level factors that may reduce cost of care and improve value for inpatient tonsillectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • academic medical centers
  • children's hospitals
  • cost of care
  • cost variation
  • teaching hospitals
  • tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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