Health expenditures among high-risk patients after gastric bypass and matched controls.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether bariatric surgery is associated with reduced health care expenditures in a multisite cohort of predominantly older male patients with a substantial disease burden. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of bariatric surgery. Outpatient, inpatient, and overall health care expenditures within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers were examined via generalized estimating equations in the propensity-matched cohorts. SETTING: Bariatric surgery programs in VA medical centers. PARTICIPANTS: Eight hundred forty-seven veterans who were propensity matched to 847 nonsurgical control subjects from the same 12 VA medical centers. INTERVENTION: Bariatric surgical procedures. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Health expenditures through December 2006. RESULTS: Outpatient, inpatient, and total expenditures trended higher for bariatric surgical cases in the 3 years leading up to the procedure and then converged back to the lower expenditure levels of nonsurgical controls in the 3 years after the procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Based on analyses of a cohort of predominantly older men, bariatric surgery does not appear to be associated with reduced health care expenditures 3 years after the procedure.
Maciejewski, ML; Livingston, EH; Smith, VA; Kahwati, LC; Henderson, WG; Arterburn, DE
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