Spine surgery utilization, cost in the US: 5 key findings

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 23, 2019 | Print  |

An article published in the Spine examines the outcomes and utilization statistics for spine surgery in both the United States and Canada from 2011 to 2015.

Researchers used population-level administrative data gathered between 2011 and 2015 in Ontario as well as data gathered between 2011 and 2014 about adults who underwent spine surgery in New York. The researchers also compiled information about spine surgery in both countries based on previously published literature.

Five key notes:

1. There are around 900,000 adults in America and 30,000 adults in Canada that undergo spine surgery per year.

2. The direct cost for inpatient hospital procedures ranges from $4,500 to $30,000 with the difference in price based on the procedure performed and location.

3. During the period studied, patients in New York were younger on average than patients in Ontario when receiving decompression and fusion procedures. The average age for decompressions in Ontario was 58.8 years while the average age in New York was 51.3 years.

The average age for spinal fusion was 58.1 years in Ontario and 54.9 years in New York.

4. The utilization of decompressions and fusions in Ontario was 6.6 procedures per 10,000 population per year, which was much lower than in New York. The data from New York showed the utilization rate was 16.5 per 10,000 population per year.

5. The gap between the two countries in elective procedures was large as well. The utilization for elective procedures in Ontario was 4.6 per 10,000 population per year, compared to 13.9 in New York.

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