Local cost structures and the economics of robot assisted radical prostatectomy.
PURPOSE: Robot assisted prostatectomy (RAP) is more costly than traditional radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) under the cost structures at certain hospitals. However, this finding may not be the case in all care settings. We investigated the sensitivity of RAP and RRP inpatient costs to variations in length of stay (LOS), local hospitalization costs and robotic case volume in the specialist and generalist settings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We developed a model of RAP vs RRP costs in the specialist and generalist settings using published data on operative time and LOS, and cost data from our academic medical center. All inpatient cost centers were included, namely surgery costs, professional fees, postoperative care, robotic equipment and service. Extensive 1 and 2-way sensitivity analyses were performed. RESULTS: Our base case model demonstrated a cost premium for RAP vs RRP of USD $783 and $195 in the specialist and generalist settings, respectively. Sensitivity analysis of our model assumptions demonstrated that RAP could achieve cost equivalence with RRP at a surgical volume of 10 cases weekly. If case volume increased to 14 cases weekly, RAP would be less expensive than RRP in some practice settings in which RAP LOS was less than 1.5 days. CONCLUSIONS: The inpatient costs of robotic assisted prostatectomy are volume dependent and cost equivalence with generalist radical retropubic prostatectomy is possible at higher volume RAP specialty centers. While RAP may be cost competitive with RRP at high cost hospitals or high volume RAP specialist centers, this procedure would exist at a cost premium to RRP in other practice settings.
Scales, CD; Jones, PJ; Eisenstein, EL; Preminger, GM; Albala, DM
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