Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Costs of Surgical Care for Women With Ovarian Cancer

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

There is a significant variation in the standardized monetary costs for women undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer. And the differences in operating room and supply costs seem to drive this variation, according to J. Alejandro Rauh-Hain, MD, MPH, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and colleagues, who published their findings in Gynecologic Oncology.

“Among women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, approximately 40% of the costs of first-line treatment are related to surgery and postoperative care,” said the investigators.

The study focused on retrospective cohort data from hospitals across the United States that reported to the Premier Database, “an all-payer, fee-supported database created to measure resource utilization and quality.” In total, 15,857 patients with ovarian cancer from 226 hospitals were included.

The average standard cost of hospitalization for these patients was $13,267. Patients who had minor surgical complications saw a 10% increase in cost, whereas those with moderate surgical complications had a 36% increase; major complications produced an 83% increase in cost. Reoperation was associated with a 49% increase in hospitalization costs.

Hospitals in the highest-resource quartile had a 56% higher average cost compared with hospitals in the lowest-resource quartile. The major differences between these two populations was in operating room standardized cost/hospital practices and supply costs. In addition, the researchers noted a significant association between high costs and lower quality of care. They concluded that there may be opportunities to improve resource utilization in high-cost facilities.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at gynecologiconcology-online.net.

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