Health Information Management

News: Reductions in surgical complications cost hospitals

CDI Strategies, October 25, 2012

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Hospitals stand to lose about $1.2 million in annual reimbursement revenue for each 1% drop in its surgical complication rates, according to a recent study published in the October edition of HealthAffairs.

Using data from 2010, the study authors determined that the average cost for a patient suffering surgical complications was $35,465; for a patient without complications, it was $18,403—a difference of about $17,000.
 
According to HealthAffairs efforts to reduce surgical complications will paradoxically hurt hospitals’ bottom lines. “A program to reduce complications from surgery, while clearly in the interest of patients and payers, will result in a negative cash flow for hospitals whose caseloads of surgical inpatients are not growing,” the publication states.



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