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Comparative hospital costs of liver transplantation and the treatment of complications of cirrhosis. A prospective study

Burroughs, AK; Blake, J; Thorne, S; Else, M; Rolles, K; (1992) Comparative hospital costs of liver transplantation and the treatment of complications of cirrhosis. A prospective study. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology , 4 (2) 123 - 128.

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Abstract

Objective: To assess prospectively the comparative hospital costs of liver transplantation and the treatment of complications of cirrhosis. Design: A prospective evaluation of hospital costs over a 6-month period was undertaken with the Hospital's Directorate of Finance using standard health care accountancy procedures. Setting: Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplantation Unit, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London, UK. Patients: The first 23 liver transplant patients in a new programme all of whom underwent a standard protocol of management, were compared with 14 cirrhotics treated for complications. Main outcome measures: Individual and mean marginal and fully absorbed hospital costs for the initial admission, and subsequent readmission and outpatient visits. Results: The total mean fully absorbed hospital costs in pounds sterling were £8873 for complications and £24052 for liver transplantation, whereas the mean costs for readmission and outpatient follow-up were £3795 for the complication group, £1964 for the transplant group, as a result of the large difference in the total number of days spent by each group during readmission: 107 days for the transplant group versus 183 for the complication group. Conclusion: In our institution, the comparative hospital cost of liver transplantation is three times that of treating a complication of cirrhosis. In the first 6 months the hospital costs were less for patients transplanted than those treated for complications. A global cost-benefit analysis which takes into account quality of life should be performed to establish the cost of liver transplantation to society and in particular to the social and health services.

Type:Article
Title:Comparative hospital costs of liver transplantation and the treatment of complications of cirrhosis. A prospective study

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