To investigate the temporal relationship of hospital charges relative to recorded costs for surgical episodes of care.This retrospective cohort study selected individuals who underwent any of 8 index urologic surgical procedures at 392 unique institutions from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2015. For each surgical encounter, cost and charge data reported by hospitals were extracted and adjusted to 2016 US dollars. Trend analysis and multivariable logistic regression modeling were used to assess outcomes. The primary outcome was trend in median charge and cost. Secondary outcomes consisted of hospital characteristics associated with membership in the highest quartile of institutional charge-to-cost ratio.Cohort-level median cost per encounter trended down from $6824 in 2005 to $5586 in 2015 (P for trend<.001), and charges increased from $20,210 to $25,773 during the same period (P for trend<.001). Hospitals in the highest quartile of institutional charge-to-cost ratio were more likely to be safety net, nonteaching, urban, lower surgical volume, smaller, and located outside the Midwest (P<.001 for each characteristic).The pricing trends shown herein could indicate some success in cost-containment for surgical episodes of care, although higher hospital charges may be increasingly used to bolster reimbursement from third-party payers and to compensate for escalating costs in other areas.
View details for PubMedID 31079963