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Comment & Response
August 21, 2013

Complications From Surgery and Hospital Finances

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2013;310(7):747. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8406

To the Editor The important finding in the article on surgical complications and hospital finances1 was that the total margin per Medicare patient decreased by $9218 when a patient had a complication, and the total profit per private-payer patient increased by $25 622. The difference stems from Medicare paying a fixed rate per stay within each Medicare severity diagnosis related group (DRG), whereas private payers often pay per diem and discount charges but longer stays end up resulting in more revenue.