HCUP outlines costliest surgical procedures
OR patients less likely to die than medical patients
Go to the hospital for an operation, and you're less likely to die, but your cost of care is, on average, two times as expensive as a non-surgical stay. The length of stay, though, wasn't much different: Five days for a surgical patient compared to 4.4 for a non-surgical patient.
Of course, it all depends on what you're going in for.
There are 20 procedures that account for more than half the total cost of operations in a given year.
Orthopedic procedures such as hip replacements ($17,200 mean cost) and spinal fusions (a mean of $27,600) are among the most expensive.
But the second most common operation in the country is a circumcision, and the mean cost of that isn't a bargain either: it runs $2,000.
C-sections are the most common surgeries — there were 1.2 million of them, or 8.1% of the total, with a mean cost of $5,900.
Data like this come courtesy of the HCUP Statistical Brief 170: Characteristics of Operating Room Procedures in US Hospitals, 2011 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb170-Operating-Room-Procedures-United-States-2011.pdf), which outlines information on the 15.6 million operations from 2011, which had a total cost of something north of $180 billion.
The top 10 surgical procedures and numbers performed that year were:
- cesarean section 1.27 million;
- circumcision 1.1 million;
- knee arthroplasty 718,000;
- percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) 560, 000;
- laminectomy 525,000;
- spinal fusion 488,000;
- hip replacement, total and partial 467,000;
- cholecystectomy and common duct exploration 449,000;
- hysterectomy, abdominal and vaginal 389,000;
- colorectal resection 333,000.
The top 10 surgical procedures by aggregate cost in 2011 were:
- spinal fusion $12.8 billion;
- arthroplasty of knee $11.3 billion;
- percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA) $9.7 billion;
- hip replacement, total and partial $7.96 billion;
- cesarean section $7.41 billion;
- colorectal resection $6.75 billion;
- coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) $6.4 billion;
- heart valve procedures $6.07 billion;
- cholecystectomy and common duct exploration $5.05 billion;
- treatment, fracture or dislocation of hip and femur $4.28 billion.