Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Financial Margins for Prostate Cancer Surgery: Quantifying the Impact of Modifiable Cost Inputs in an Episode Based Reimbursement Model.

Johnson DC, Kwok E, Ahn C, Pashchinskiy A, Laviana AA, Golla V, Rosenthal JT, Bravo F, Litwin MS, Saigal CS. Financial Margins for Prostate Cancer Surgery: Quantifying the Impact of Modifiable Cost Inputs in an Episode Based Reimbursement Model. The Journal of urology. 2019 Sep 1; 202(3):539-545.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


PURPOSE: The United States health care system is rapidly moving away from fee for service reimbursement in an effort to improve quality and contain costs. Episode based reimbursement is an increasingly relevant value based payment model of surgical care. We sought to quantify the impact of modifiable cost inputs on institutional financial margins in an episode based payment model for prostate cancer surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 157 consecutive patients underwent robotic radical prostatectomy in 2016 at a tertiary academic medical center. We compiled comprehensive episode costs and reimbursements from the most recent urology consultation for prostate cancer through 90 days postoperatively and benchmarked the episode price as a fixed reimbursement to the median reimbursement of the cohort. We identified 2 sources of modifiable costs with undefined empirical value, including preoperative prostate magnetic resonance imaging and perioperative functional recovery counseling visits, and then calculated the impact on financial margins (reimbursement minus cost) under an episode based payment. RESULTS: Although they comprised a small proportion of the total episode costs, varying the use of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (33% vs 100% of cases) and functional recovery counseling visits (1 visit in 66% and 2 in 100%) reduced average expected episode financial margins up to 22.6% relative to the margin maximizing scenario in which no patient received these services. CONCLUSIONS: Modifiable cost inputs have a substantial impact on potential operating margins for prostate cancer surgery under an episode based payment model. High cost health systems must develop the capability to analyze individual cost inputs and quantify the contribution to quality to inform value improvement efforts for multiple service lines.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.