Variance in general surgery procedures

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Medibank have released the first in a series of reports to improve and progress understanding by surgeons about variations in surgical practice. The first  report released today is focussed on variances in:

  • Number of procedures performed by the surgeon
  • Median length of patient hospital stay
  • Patient transfers to ICU
  • Average total cost

The procedures included:

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (surgery to remove a gallbladder);
  • Gastric band and sleeve procedures;
  • Bowel resection procedures;
  • Hernia procedures;
  • Gastroscopy; and
  • Colonoscopy (including diagnostic and procedures with polyp removal).

Some media reports noted significant fee variations, for example in gall bladder surgery “the lowest charging doctor had a bill of $4,543 for while some surgeons charged up to $21,419”.

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