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BMC Health Services Research

, 14:427

Utilization, expenditure, economics and financing systems


BackgroundCase payment mechanisms have become the principal means of remunerating hospitals in most developed countries. Our purpose was to analyse the reimbursement for different types of tissue transfer in five European countries.

MethodsWe looked at common surgical options for pedicled and free flaps. The recipient site of a flap and the principal diagnosis were systematically modified and processed with national grouper software in order to identify Diagnosis-Related Groups from which the proceeds were derived. The primary data originated from the database of the German Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System as aggregate information. We conducted eight specialist interviews to transfer the available data into clinical practice. Data of real patients were not available and we rather simulated standard patients to avoid dilution of results.

ResultsAltogether, payment for pedicled flaps averaged 5933€ and was 8517€ for free flaps. The comparison of both flap types within a country revealed significant differences in Germany, Austria and Sweden only p < 0.001. Italy has the highest mean proceeds for pedicled flaps, followed by Sweden, Germany, Austria and the UK. This relationship changes for free flaps with Sweden achieving the highest payments. Overall, reimbursement conformity is higher for free flaps.

ConclusionsMost countries have procedure-driven payment systems for flap surgery, which additionally can strongly depend on the diagnosis. Nevertheless the latter does not always justify existing price differences. For the first time, clinical cases in tissue transfer were compared internationally. In today`s dynamic world of health care, we should observe other countries` compensation systems to identify ways of improving our own.

KeywordsTissue transfer Flaps Reimbursement Diagnosis-Related Groups Health care policy Health services research AbbreviationsCMSCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services

DRGDiagnosis-Related Group

FDAFood and drug administration

GBPGreat Britain Pound

HCFAHealth care financing administration

HRGHealthcare resource group

ICD-10International classification of diseases

LDLatissimus Dorsi

NHSNational Health Service

OECDOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development

PbRPayment by results

PPPPurchasing power parity

SEKSwedish Kronor

TRAMTransverse rectus abdominis muscle

uLoSUpper Length of Stay.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-14-427 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Oliver Lotter - William Arthur Townley - Philipp Gonser - Hans-Eberhard Schaller - Sebastian Hoefert


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