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”.