Costs of complications after colorectal cancer surgery in the Netherlands: Building the business case for hospitals

Dutch Value Based Healthcare Study Group

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

63 Citaten (Scopus)


Background Healthcare providers worldwide are struggling with rising costs while hospitals budgets are under stress. Colorectal cancer surgery is commonly performed, however it is associated with a disproportionate share of adverse events in general surgery. Since adverse events are associated with extra hospital costs it seems important to explicitly discuss the costs of complications and the risk factors for high-costs after colorectal surgery. Methods Retrospective analysis of clinical and financial outcomes after colorectal cancer surgery in 29 Dutch hospitals (6768 patients). Detailed clinical data was derived from the 2011-2012 population-based Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit database. Costs were measured uniform in all participating hospitals and based on Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing. Findings Of total hospital costs in this study, 31% was spent on complications and the top 5% most expensive patients were accountable for 23% of hospitals budgets. Minor and severe complications were respectively associated with a 26% and 196% increase in costs as compared to patients without complications. Independent from other risk factors, ASA IV, double tumor, ASA III, short course preoperative radiotherapy and TNM-4 stadium disease were the top-5 attributors to high costs. Conclusions This article shows that complications after colorectal cancer surgery are associated with a substantial increase in costs. Although not all surgical complications can be prevented, reducing complications will result in considerable cost savings. By providing a business case we show that investments made to develop targeted quality improvement programs will pay off eventually. Results based on this study should encourage healthcare providers to endorse quality improvement efforts.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)1059-1067
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusGepubliceerd - aug. 2015
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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