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Increased Volume of Lumbar Surgeries for Herniated Intervertebral Disc Disease and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

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Study Design.

Retrospective cohort study of a nationwide database.

Objective.

The primary objective was to summarize the use of surgical methods for lumbar herniated intervertebral disc disease (HIVD) at two different time periods under the national health insurance system. The secondary objective was to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis by utilizing incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).Summary of Background Data.

The selection of surgical method for HIVD may or may not be consistent with cost effectiveness under national health insurance system, but this issue has rarely been analyzed.
Methods.

The data of all patients who underwent surgeries for HIVD in 2003 (n = 17,997) and 2008 (n = 38,264) were retrieved. The surgical methods included open discectomy (OD), fusion surgery, laminectomy, and percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD). The hospitals were classified as tertiary-referral hospitals (≥300 beds), medium-sized hospitals (30–300 beds), or clinics (<30 beds). ICER showed the difference in the mean total cost per 1% decrease in the reoperation probability among surgical methods. The total cost included the costs of the index surgery and the reoperation.
Results.

In 2008, the number of surgeries increased by 2.13-fold. The number of hospitals increased by 34.75% (731 in 2003 and 985 in 2008). The proportion of medium-sized hospitals increased from 62.79% to 70.86%, but the proportion of surgeries performed at those hospitals increased from 61.31% to 85.08%. The probability of reoperation was highest after laminectomy (10.77%), followed by OD (10.50%), PELD (9.20%), and fusion surgery (7.56%). The ICERs indicated that PELD was a cost-effective surgical method. The proportion of OD increased from 71.21% to 84.12%, but that of PELD decreased from 16.68% to 4.57%.
Conclusion.

The choice of surgical method might not always be consistent with cost-effectiveness strategies, and a high proportion of medium-sized hospitals may be responsible for this change.

Level of Evidence: 4
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Keywords: cost-benefit analysis; discectomy; endoscope; hospital; intervertebral disc; lumbar vertebra; reoperation; spine; surgery

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea, Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, Neuroscience Research Institute, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, South Korea, Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea 2: Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea, Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, Neuroscience Research Institute, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, South Korea, Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea 3: Health Insurance Review and Assessment Research Institute, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Wonju, South Korea 4: Division of Medical Statistics, Medical Research Collaborating Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea 5: Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea 6: Department of Customer Supporting Team, Samsung Life Insurance, Seoul, South Korea 7: Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Publication date: April 15, 2018

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