Age, comorbidities cited among patient-specific factors impacting postoperative hospital costs

Researchers of this retrospective review found patient-specific factors, such as BMI and comorbidities, can have a significant impact on postoperative hospital costs following elective lumbar decompression spinal surgeries.

Researchers focused on specific patient characteristics to determine which factors drive postoperative hospital-related costs in a retrospective review of elective lumbar decompression surgeries. A total of 1,201 patients were included in the analysis. In all, 557 patients underwent a laminectomy and 644 underwent a discectomy.

When comparing the procedures, investigators found laminectomies had greater hospital costs (mean difference $1,522.79) and length of stay (3.0 ± 0.08 days) compared with discectomies.

For laminectomy, patients 65 years and older had significantly increased costs (mean difference $945.33) and a significant increase in hospital length of stay (3.1 ± 0.1 days) compared with patients younger than 65 years.

Obesity also was linked to increased cost and length of stay for laminectomies, but only length of stay for discectomies.

“For laminectomies, BMI in the obese category (30 to 39.9) led to an increase in hospital costs of $906 compared with patients with normal weights. Furthermore, a BMI associated with medical complications (≥ 40) increased costs by $2,091 compared with normal-weight patients. Similarly, when comparing obese patients with medical complications (≥ 40) to normal-weight patients, the hospital length of stay increased by 1.1 days. Hospital costs were not significantly increased with increasing BMI in discectomies; although there was an increase in length of stay, it was far less pronounced than in laminectomies,” researchers wrote in the study. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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