Surgeon volume for percutaneous nephrolithotomy is associated with medical costs and length of hospital stay: A nationwide population-based study in Taiwan - Abstract

Introduction/Objective: To investigate the factors associated with outcomes and medical costs for percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).

Methods: The present study utilizes a subset of the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), known as the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 (LHID 2005), which contains the data of all medical benefit claims from 1997-2010 for a subset of one million enrollees randomly drawn from the population of 22.72 million individuals who were enrolled in 2005. The claims data for all subjects with a diagnosis of urolithiasis who underwent PCNL were analyzed. Hospital and surgeon case volume were classified by quartile. The correlations of all patient, surgeon and hospital variables with the outcomes and medical costs of PCNL were analyzed by generalized estimating equations.

Results: A total of 995 subjects received PCNL. In univariate analysis, PCNL performed by high-volume surgeons (≥12) cost 26% less ($2684 vs. $1986 USD) and resulted in a 34.3% shorter hospital stay (6.5 vs. 9.9 days) compared to low-volume surgeons (≤ 3). In multivariate analysis, surgeon volume was a significant predictor for medical cost, length of stay and intensive care unit transfer but not complications and mortality.

Conclusions: Surgeon volume was associated with lower medical costs and shorter length of stay after PCNL. However, surgeon volume was not an independent predictor of complications and mortality. Our findings have important implications for urologists and policymakers with regards to the cost and effectiveness of PCNL.

Written by:
Huang WY, Wu SC, Chen YF, Lan CF, Hsieh JT, Huang KH.   Are you the author?
National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Health and Welfare Policy, Taipei, Taiwan.  

Reference: J Endourol. 2014 Apr 7. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1089/end.2014.0003

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 24707828 Endourology Section