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Research Letter
August 2014

Variation in Inpatient Costs of Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Among Transplant Centers in the United States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 2Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(8):1409-1412. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.2302

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) using the patient’s own (autologous) or a donor’s (allogeneic) HCT progenitor cells is a highly effective but costly therapy for life-threatening blood disorders and cancers. Despite the small number of annual procedures (20 000 a year in the United States), HCT hospitalization spending increased from $684 million to $1.3 billion between 2004 and 2007, placing it among the procedures with the most rapid spending increases.1 Those increases reflect rising procedure volume and rising hospitalization costs.1 Prior research2 on HCT costs has been limited to single-institution analyses. To quantify variation in costs of HCT across hospitals, we analyzed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS),3 the largest hospital database with charge information on all patients admitted to the sampled hospitals regardless of payer.