Variation in resource utilization associated with the surgical management of ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Mar;152(3):587-593. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.12.013. Epub 2018 Dec 19.


Objective: Identify the major factors that drive standardized cost in providing surgical care for women with ovarian cancer, characterize the magnitude of variation in resource utilization between centers, and to investigate the relationship between resource utilization and quality of care provided.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of hospitals across the United States reporting to the Premier Database who cared for patients with ovarian cancer diagnosed between 2007 and 2014. The primary outcome was standardized total cost of the index hospitalization. To assess the relationship between hospital standardized costs and patient outcomes, we identified four measures of quality: 1) complications, 2) re-operation, 3) length of stay > 15 days, and 4) unplanned readmission.

Results: The study population included 15,857 patients treated at 226 hospitals. The median standardized cost for hospitalizations was $13,267 (IQR = $3342). Reoperation was associated with 49% increase (95% CI = 43%-56%), and having minor complication was associated with 10% (95% CI = 8%-12%) increase in standardized cost, a moderate complication was associated with 36% (95% CI = 33%-38%) increase, and a major complication was associated with 83% (95% CI = 76%-89%) increase. The average risk-adjusted hospital standardized costs for hospitals in the highest resource use quartiles was 56% higher than the average hospital costs for hospitals in the lowest quartile ($10,826 vs. $16,933). The largest variation was in operating room standardized cost (45.5% of the total variation in operating room cost is explained by differences in hospital practices) and supplies (41.7%).

Conclusions: We identified significant variation in standardized costs among women who underwent surgery for ovarian cancer, operating room and supply costs are the largest drivers of variation.

Keywords: Association of surgical cost and patient outcomes; Ovarian cancer; Variation in surgical cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / economics
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Laparoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / economics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States