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Geographic Variation in Costs of Posterolateral Fusion

Variation seen in costs of PLF, total knee arthroplasty, TKA with major complications

TUESDAY, Sept. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) — There is significant geographic variation in the costs of posterolateral fusion (PLF), total knee arthroplasty (TKA), and TKA with major complications or comorbidities, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of Spine.

Vadim Goz, M.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review to define the geographic variation in costs of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and PLF. The costs associated with ACDF, lumbar PLF, and TKA were investigated using Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment data.

The researchers found that the national mean of combined professional and facility costs for a single-level ACDF was $13,899. Total costs for a single-level PLF and primary TKA had national means of $25,858 and $13,039, respectively. The cost of TKA with major comorbidities increased to an average of $22,138. Statistically significant between-geographic-region differences were seen in total costs of PLF, TKA, and TKA with major complications or comorbidities in an analysis of geographic trends.

“These data shed light on the actual cost of common surgical procedures throughout the United States and will allow further progress toward the development of cost-effective, value-driven care,” the authors write.

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