UCSF Andrew AuerbachCoronary bypass surgery though helpful is very expensive. For long scientists have tried to bring out cost reducing methods, in fact some experts are also successful in doing so. The usage of Da Vinci Robot is assumed to make bypass surgery safer and economical. Experts from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) suggest that staying away from lowest-volume hospitals and paying more attention on providing quality care processes can lessen costs related to coronary bypass surgery.

The study was said to be modified for patient and site characteristics. 19.8 percent higher costs were observed in lowest-volume hospitals in comparison to hospitals encompassing greater numbers of patients. The experts mentioned that adjusting for care quality may not bring any differences in costs. Adherence to quality process measures seemingly resulted in cost savings and enhancement in overall performance on quality measures.

The authors were possibly unable to register consistent associations with cost or length of stay in the hospital in every patient with quality measures. Patients provided with all quality measures appeared to have much shorter hospital stays and lower costs as compared to those who missed even a single quality measures. At the time of the study, investigators thoroughly scrutinized 81,289 subjects going through coronary artery bypass surgery. The patients were under the care of 1,451 physicians in a sample of 164 U.S. hospitals.

Andrew D. Auerbach, MD, MPH, an associate professor in the UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine and lead author of the paper alleged, “Improving quality and reducing costs of care are crucial goals for this country. In addition, consumers are being asked to make more of their own health care decisions based on the value of their care. The better we understand the relationships between the drivers of cost and quality, the more effective we can be in designing systems and incentives to improve care.”

The relation between surgeon and hospital volume, and costs and length of stay were observed by the authors. They then analyzed the relationships between case volume, costs and length of stay, after adjusting for individual measures of care quality, as well as overall care quality. For measuring quality the experts registered all the provided medications and services that were recommended for a patient. The overall number of measures missed was also noted.

It was ascertained that most of the hospitals approximately 51 percent and physicians around 78 percent were lowest-volume providers. Only 18 percent of patients were seemingly provided with all quality of care measures. The hospital volume appeared to range from 112 coronary artery bypass surgeries annually in the lowest-volume group to 644 in the highest group. The volume range of physicians appeared to read at 12 per year in the lowest-volume group to 155 per year in the highest group. The cost of per patient was around $25,140 in a median length of stay which was seven days.

The study is published in the online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.