alexa Fixed-rate reimbursement fails to cover costs for patients with delayed graft function.
Nephrology

Nephrology

Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics

Author(s): Almond PS, Matas AJ, Canafax DM

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Abstract Medicare uses a fixed reimbursement schedule to pay the initial hospital costs for renal transplantation. This creates the potential to underpay for patients who develop the common complication of delayed graft function. We undertook a pilot study to determine if delayed graft function resulted in higher hospital charges and thus a loss in revenue when caring for these patients. Of 34 patients who experienced delayed graft function between October 12, 1987 and July 7, 1989, 9 (group 1) were randomly selected for study. During this same period 136 patients had immediate graft function; from them, another 9 (group 2) were selected by matching age, sex, and date of transplantation. The average (+/- SD) hospital stays for groups 1 and 2 were 17 +/- 8 and 10 +/- 2 days, respectively (p less than 0.001). The average time on dialysis for group 1 was 10.3 +/- 6.3 days (range 2-22 days). All dollars values were adjusted to a 1989 level, and we excluded kidney acquisition costs and professional fees. The average per patient charges for group 1 were $41,474 +/- 15,211 (range $21,926-$66,311), compared with $23,774 +/- 3245 (range $19,317-$29,702) for group 2 (p less than 0.001). We adjusted the charge values to estimate actual costs by using our hospital's average cost:charge ratio of 0.90 for 1987 and 1988, and 0.85 for 1989; the group 1 and group 2 average patient costs were $37,157 +/- 13,836 and $21,397 +/- 2921, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Pharmacotherapy and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics

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