Estimating potential for savings for low risk endometrial cancer using the Endometrial Cancer Alternative Payment Model (ECAP): A companion paper to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Report on the Endometrial Cancer Alternative Payment Model.

Wright JD, Havrilesky LJ, Cohn DE, Huang Y, Rathbun J, Rice LW, Brown CL, Alvarez RD, Ko EM
Gynecol Oncol 149 241-247 01/01/2018

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To design an endometrial cancer (EC) alternative payment (ECAP) model focused on surgical management of EC, as well as identify drivers of cost in order to develop opportunities for cost-savings while maintaining quality of care.

METHODS: National practice patterns and reimbursements were compared between private payers (MarketScan data, years 2009-13) and public payers (Medicare, year 2014) of EC patients who underwent hysterectomy. An episode of care for EC included the hysterectomy, stratified by surgical approach (laparotomy versus robotic versus laparoscopy), and in- and outpatient reimbursements from 30days preoperatively to 60days postoperatively. Reimbursements were categorized into cost centers. A decision model informed modifiable components influencing overall reimbursements for EC surgical care. Variations in length of stay (LOS), emergency department (ED visits), and readmissions were analyzed to create an optimal care model.

RESULTS: A total of MarketScan (n=29,558) and Medicare (n=377) patients were included. Mean total reimbursement for an episode of care was $19,183 (SD $10,844) for Medicare and $30,839 (SD $19,911) for MarketScan. Mean reimbursements were greatest for abdominal cases in Medicare ($25,553; SD $11,870) and MarketScan ($35,357; SD $21,670), followed by robotic and laparoscopic. Among MarketScan patients, 7.6% of women were readmitted within 60days after surgery and 11.7% had an evaluation in the ED. The median reimbursement per patient for readmission was $14,474 (IQR $8584 to $26,149), and for ED visit was $6327 (IQR $1369 to $29,153). In an optimized care model, increasing the rate of minimally invasive surgery by 5% while reducing LOS by 10% and ED visits/readmissions by 10%, lowered the average case reimbursement by $903 (2.9%) for MarketScan and $1243 (5.9%) for Medicare.

CONCLUSION: An ECAP model demonstrates that reimbursements vary by public versus commercial payers in the U.S. for the surgical management of endometrial cancer patients, and that opportunities for cost savings exist. Nominal increases in the rate of minimally invasive surgery and reduction in the rate of ED visits/readmissions and length of stay can result in substantial savings for endometrial cancer care.

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