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Peripheral occlusive disease may provide the highest hospital margins despite rising costs

      Objective

      The objective of this study was to review vascular surgical financial trends in a tertiary care setting and to evaluate the impact of a vascular program within a health care system in the face of lower reimbursements and rising costs.

      Methods

      With use of Current Procedural Terminology codes and diagnosis-related groups, vascular categories of aortic disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral occlusive disease (POCD) were identified at an academic tertiary health care center. Hospital margins were calculated for each of the defined categories by Health Quest cost accounting data cross-walked with Current Procedural Terminology codes, date of service, and admitting physician for each year from 2010 to 2012.

      Results

      All categories realized volume growth and a positive margin for the hospital. In comparison of 2010 and 2012, aortic cases showed an overall volume growth of 19%, revenue increase of 31%, and cost increase of 54%, resulting in an overall margin decrease of 7%. Cerebrovascular cases showed a 30% increase in volume growth, revenue increase of 13%, and cost increase of 5%, resulting in a margin increase of 18%. POCD cases showed overall volume growth of 35%, revenue increase of 37%, cost increase of 54%, and a margin increase of 15%. The margin for POCD exceeded the margin for aortic and cerebrovascular cases combined by 77%.

      Conclusions

      In evaluating a vascular program's fiscal viability, volume-driven POCD was the only category producing growing hospital margins in the face of significant cost increases.
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