Variation of the inpatient cost of care in the treatment of isolated geriatric intertrochanteric hip fractures
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INTRODUCTION: Geriatric hip fractures are a major, costly public health issue, expected to increase in incidence and expense with the aging population. As healthcare transitions towards value-based care, understanding cost drivers of hip fracture treatment will be necessary to perform adequate risk adjustment. Historically, cost has been variable and difficult to determine. This study was purposed to identify variables that can predict the overall cost of care for geriatric intertrochanteric (IT) hip fractures and provide a better cost prediction to ensure the success of future bundled payment models. METHODS: A retrospective review of operatively-managed geriatric hip fractures was performed at single urban level I academic trauma center between 2013 and 2017. Patient variables were collected via the electronic medical record (EMR) including CCI, ACCI, ASA, overall length of stay (LOS), AO/OTA fracture classification and demographics. Direct and indirect costs were calculated by activity-based costing by the hospital's accounting software. Multivariable linear regression models evaluated which parameters predicted total inpatient cost of care. RESULTS: The mean cost of care was $19,822, ranging from $9,128 to $64,211. Critical care comprised 16.9% of total costs, followed by implant costs (13.6%), and nursing costs (12.6%). Regression analysis identified both ASA (p < 0.01) and ACCI (p = 0.01) as statistically significant associative parameters, but only LOS (r (2) = 0.77) as a strong correlative measure for inpatient care cost. CONCLUSION: This study found no correlation between ACCI or ASA and the total inpatient cost of care in isolated intertrochanteric geriatric hip fractures, suggesting that the inpatient episode-of-care costs cannot be accurately predicted by the patient demographics/comorbidities alone. Future bundled care payment models would have to be adjusted to account for variables beyond just patient characteristics. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic Level IV.
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