Purpose: We investigated the relationship between provider volume and charges for transurethral bladder tumor resection (TURBT) and radical cystectomy in patients with bladder cancer. Materials and Methods: The National Inpatient Sample (1988 to 1999) of the Health Care Utilization Project, and State Ambulatory Surgery Databases for Wisconsin and Florida (2000 data set) were used for analysis. All patients with bladder cancer who had undergone radical cystectomy or TURBT as the principal procedure were identified. Hospitals and surgeons were categorized into terciles of volume based on the average number performed per year. The average hospital charge per discharge/procedure corrected to 2000 levels was calculated. One-way ANOVA with the Bonferroni correction was used to compare charges between different volume levels. Results: A total of 13,498 patients who underwent radical cystectomy and 5,954 who underwent TURBT were included in the analysis. Charges for radical cystectomy were $5,648 lower at high volume hospitals than at low volume hospitals (p <0.001). High volume surgeons were $2,976 less expensive than low volume surgeons (p = 0.054). For TURBT total hospital charges at high volume hospitals were $1,013 more than at low volume hospitals (p <0.0001), while average total hospital charges for procedures performed by high volume surgeons were $919 less compared to low volume surgeons (p <0.0001). Conclusions: High risk inpatient procedures for bladder cancer such as cystectomy, which are more influenced by systems of care, are less expensive to perform at high volume centers. Lower risk ambulatory procedures for bladder cancer, such as TURBT, which are not influenced by systems of care, may be more cost efficiently performed by high volume surgeons at low volume centers.
- Bladder neoplasms
- Fees and charges