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AUGUST 1 2011 05:21h
Researchers: Medicare payments too low
Dr. Harry Cloft, professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues examined two data sets released in tandem with studies designed to assess costs versus reimbursements for treatment -- clipping and coiling -- of unruptured aneurysms, as well as therapies to address carotid stenosis -- carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting -- in asymptomatic patients.
In the first study, the median hospital costs for clipping and coiling were higher than the average Medicare payment in cases without complication and complications increased the cost to hospitals.
For the second study, results showed that out of the total 181,200 carotid endarterectomy procedures and 12,485 carotid artery stenting procedures, carotid artery stenting was associated with significantly higher costs than carotid endarterectomy.
For treatment with favorable outcomes, Medicare reimbursement was $1,318 for carotid endarterectomy and $3,241 for carotid artery stenting procedures. Greater payment-to-cost disparities were noted for both procedures if patients had unfavorable outcomes.
"In today's economy, many hospitals are feeling the strain of higher costs and stable or lower reimbursements," Cloft, the study author, says in a statement.
The findings were presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's eighth annual meeting.
ROCHESTER, Minn., July 31 (UPI) -- The cost of treating some neurovascular conditions is higher than Medicare reimbursement, hurting already financially strapped U.S. hospitals, researchers say.