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June 15, 2009

Should We Not Strive for a Balance Between Procedure Fee and Overall Cost?

Arch Surg. 2009;144(6):496-497. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2009.92

The subtle and not-so-subtle influence of industry on physicians has lately become a front-burner issue. Device makers and surgeons are coming under ever greater scrutiny. Although ventral, incisional, or inguinal hernia repair, with or without prosthetic material, is a fairly routine procedure, it is in fact one of the areas in need of greatest reassessment, in substantial part because of the massive associated hospital cost. For example, a 16 × 20–cm biologic product can cost up to $10 099! The cost of such a product alone, in this instance, is more than 5 times what the most highly reimbursed surgeon receives for all of his or her care including preoperative assessment, surgery, postoperative care, and office follow-up; further, it is 10 times what America's average surgeon receives for the same effort!

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