Same day discharge colon surgery: is it financially worth it?

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Colorectal disease : the official journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland


washington; swedish; swedish cancer


AIM: Same day discharge (SDD) for colorectal surgery shows increasing promise in the era of enhanced recovery after surgery protocols and minimally invasive surgery. It has become increasingly relevant due to the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to compare SDD and postoperative day 1 (POD1) discharge to understand the clinical outcomes and financial impact on factors such as cost, charge, revenue, contribution margin and readmission.

METHOD: A retrospective review of colectomies was performed at a single institution over a 2-year period (n = 143). Two populations were identified: SDD (n = 51) and POD1 (n = 92). Patients were selected by International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems-10 (ICD-10) and Diagnosis Related Grouper (DRG) codes.

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference favouring SDD in total hospital cost (p < 0.0001), average direct costs (p < 0.0001) and average charges (p < 0.0016). SDD average hospital costs were $8699 (values in USD throughout) compared with $11 652 for POD 1 (p < 0.0001), and average SDD hospital charges were $85 506 compared with $97 008 for POD1 (p < 0.0016). The net revenue for SDD was $22 319 while for POD1 it was $26 173 (p = 0.14). Upon comparison of contribution margins (SDD $13 620 vs. POD1 $14 522), the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.73). There were no identified statistically significant differences in operating room time, robotic console time, readmission rates or surgical complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Amidst the pandemic-related constraints, we found that SDD was associated with lower hospital costs and comparable contribution margins compared with POD1. Additionally, the study was unable to identify any significant difference between operating time, readmissions, and surgical complications when performing SDD.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Digestive Health






Health Care Administration