A socioeconomic survey of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) surgery.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated trends in inpatient spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for the 14-year period from 1993 to 2006. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We utilized the Nationwide Inpatient Sample data base from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. RESULTS: A total of 57,486 patients underwent inpatient placement of SCS systems from 1993 to 2006. Length of stay steadily decreased from 4.0 days in 1993 to 2.1 days in 2006. Average cost increased from $15,342 in 1993 to nearly $58,088 in 2006. The National Bill for SCS surgery in 2006 alone totaled nearly $215MM. Medicare accounted for 35% of payers, while private insurance accounted for 41% of claims. CONCLUSIONS: Given the expense of these systems, it is important to assess not only the efficacy of novel neuromodulatory interventions, but also their cost. Future studies should be designed with these important outcome measures in mind.
Lad, SP; Kalanithi, PS; Arrigo, RT; Patil, CG; Nathan, JK; Boakye, M; Henderson, JM
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