Health care costs related to surgical care account for 40% of all hospital and physician spending.1 Payers attempting to contain costs are replacing fee-for-service with value-based payment schemes that can encompass entire episodes of care, including physician services and postacute costs. Bundled payments, for example, will provide strong incentives for physicians to lower the total episode-based costs of treating patients.2 Unfortunately, traditional top-down hospital accounting systems, using ratios of costs to charges and relative value units (RVUs), are often inaccurate and offer little insight to surgeons and clinical staff on how and where to optimally reduce costs.3
Najjar PA, Strickland M, Kaplan RS. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for Surgical Episodes. JAMA Surg. 2017;152(1):96–97. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.3356
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