A financial analysis of operative facial fracture management.
BACKGROUND: The financial impact of operative facial fracture management has not been systematically investigated. This study aims to provide a descriptive financial analysis of patients undergoing operative facial fracture management at a single academic medical center and the financial impact on the health system. METHODS: The records of 202 patients who underwent operative facial fracture management over a 3-year period (2003 to 2005) were analyzed. All physician (professional) and hospital charges related to fracture management were included. Professional charges were subdivided by specialty and by payer type; hospital charges included operating room, recovery room, intensive care unit, hospital bed, supply charges, pharmaceuticals, laboratory charges, and radiographs. For comparison, similar data were obtained for the general plastic surgery population and for orthopedic surgery patients. RESULTS: The sum of all professional charges billed was $2,478,234 (average, $12,268 per patient). Collections for these professional services totaled $675,434, yielding an overall reimbursement rate of 27 percent. Reimbursement rates ranged from 38 percent for critical care physicians to 24 percent for surgery and neuroradiology. The highest collection rates occurred in children covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program and in prison inmates (53 percent and 99 percent, respectively). The lowest collection rates were obtained from uninsured patients (10 percent total billing over collections). Total hospital charges were $18,120,027 (average, $89,703 per patient); the total collections were $2,770,115 (15 percent reimbursement rate). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a descriptive financial analysis of operative facial fracture management. The unfavorable financial circumstances associated with facial trauma care may present a challenge to academic medical centers and plastic surgeons.
Erdmann, D; Price, K; Reed, S; Follmar, KE; Levin, LS; Marcus, JR
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