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Costs Linked to Center Volume for Lung Transplant Recipients

Lower admission costs, in-hospital mortality, early hospital readmission rate at high-volume centers

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Admission costs and early readmission rates are lower for lung transplant recipients at high-volume centers, according to a study published online April 11 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Joshua J. Mooney, M.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues examined the correlation between transplant center volume and admission cost and early hospital readmission for Medicare lung transplant recipients. Data were included for 3,128 Medicare lung transplant recipients, identified from May 4, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2011.

The researchers found that high-volume centers had a lower unadjusted transplant cost than intermediate- or low-volume centers (P < 0.0001). Compared with high-volume centers, low-volume centers had an 11.66 percent increased transplant admission cost (P = 0.040), a 41 percent increased risk for in-hospital mortality (P = 0.015), and a 14 percent elevated risk for early hospital readmission (P = 0.033) after adjustment for recipient health risk. No significant difference was seen between intermediate- and high-volume centers in transplant cost, in-hospital mortality, or early hospital readmission.

“Lung transplant admission cost, in-hospital mortality, and early hospital readmission rate are lower at high-volume centers compared to low-volume centers,” the authors write.

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