Operating costs, fiscal impact, value analysis and guidance for the routine use of robotic technology in abdominal surgical procedures.

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Surgical endoscopy


washington; renton; psjh; california; burbank; psjmc; Cholecystectomy; Colectomy; Cost; Hysterectomy; Inguinal hernia repair; Laparoscopy; Outcomes; Robotic; Robotic cholecystectomy; Robotic colectomy; Robotic herniorrhaphy


BACKGROUND: This study was designed to define the value, cost, and fiscal impact of robotic-assisted procedures in abdominal surgery and provide clinical guidance for its routine use.

METHODS: 34,984 patients who underwent an elective cholecystectomy, colectomy, inguinal hernia repair, hysterectomy, or appendectomy over a 24-month period were analyzed by age, BMI, risk class, operating time, LOS and readmission rate. Average Direct and Total Cost per Case (ADC, TCC) and Net Margin per Case (NM) were produced for each surgical technique, i.e., open, laparoscopic, and robotic assisted (RA).

RESULTS: All techniques were shown to have similar clinical outcomes. 9412 inguinal herniorrhaphy were performed (48% open with $2138 ADC, 29% laparoscopy with $3468 ADC, 23% RA with $6880 ADC); 8316 cholecystectomies (94% laparoscopy with $2846 ADC, 4.4% RA with a $7139 ADC, 16% open with a $3931 ADC); 3432 colectomies (42% open with a $12,849 ADC, 38% laparoscopy with a $10,714, 20% RA with a $15,133); 12,614 hysterectomies [42% RA with a $8213 Outpatient (OP) ADC, 39% laparoscopy $5181 OP ADC, 19% open $4894 OP ADC]. Average Global NM is - 1% for RA procedures and only positive with commercial payors.

CONCLUSION: RA techniques do not produce significant clinical enhancements than similar surgical techniques with identical outcomes while their costs are much higher. The produced value analysis does not support the routine use of RA techniques for inguinal hernia repair and cholecystectomy. RA techniques for hysterectomies and colectomies are also performed at much higher cost than open and laparoscopic techniques, should only be routinely used with appropriate clinical justification and by cost efficient surgical providers.

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