Spinal disc replacement in hospitals vs. ASCs: 5 findings


A new study published in Clinical Spine Surgery compares the cost of inpatient spine surgery with procedures performed in an ASC.


The study authors examined outcomes for patients undergoing artificial disc replacement in both hospitals and ASCs between 2009 and 2011. There were 2,159 patients who underwent spine surgery in California, Florida and New York over that time period. The researchers retrieved the data from the State Inpatient and Ambulatory Databases.

Five findings:

1. Most of the patients, 1,789 patients, underwent inpatient procedures while 370 had outpatient surgery.

2. The ambulatory patients were more likely to present at the emergency department within 30 days of surgery; 5.14 percent of the ambulatory patients did, compared with 4.2 percent of inpatients.

3. Around 1 percent of the ambulatory patients reported 30-day readmissions, compared to 2.2 percent in the inpatient group.

4. None of the ambulatory patients underwent reoperations within 30 days of the initial surgery, compared to six patients in the inpatient group.

5. Cumulative charges for the 90-day episode of care were $46,404 on average in the ASC, compared to $80,055 for the hospital inpatient setting. Direct costs were also lower in the ASC, at $1,059, compared with $17,033 for the inpatient group.

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