According to a study published online in the journal JAMA Surgery, cost feedback to surgeons along with a small financial incentive may help reduce surgical supply costs with no negative effect on patient outcomes. 

The authors reviewed data from a prospective, controlled study of 63 attending surgeons in departments that received standardized monthly surgical supply cost scorecards and 186 attending surgeons in departments that did not. All surgical departments were eligible for a financial incentive if they met a 5 percent cost reduction goal. The authors found that median surgical supply direct costs per case decreased 6.54 percent in the intervention group, while median surgical supply direct costs increased 7.42 percent in the control group. After controlling for surgeon, department, patient demographics, and clinical indicators in a mixed-effects model, the authors noted a 9.95 percent surgical supply cost decrease in the intervention group over 1 year. Overall, patient outcomes were equivalent or improved following intervention, and surgeons who received scorecards reported higher levels of cost awareness on the healthcare value survey compared with controls. Learn more...

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