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Research Letter
Pacific Coast Surgical Association
March 20, 2019

Comparison of Cost Center–Specific vs Hospital-wide Cost-to-Charge Ratios for Operating Room Services at Various Hospital Types

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles
JAMA Surg. 2019;154(6):557-558. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.0146

With value-based payment programs, accurate measures of cost are necessary for physicians and hospitals to remain financially viable. Administrative databases, such as the National Inpatient Sample, rely on hospital cost-to-charge ratios (CCRs) to convert patient billing charges to estimated hospital costs.1,2 However, using a single conversion factor on all patient charges within a hospital may be an oversimplification, particularly for surgical costs, and may lead to inaccurate estimates. We assessed whether the cost center–specific CCR for operating room services differs from the general hospital-wide CCR and whether this deviation varies by hospital type.

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