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      Early outcome of the Korean Diagnosis-Related Groups payment system for appendectomy


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          The implementation of the Korean diagnosis-related groups (DRG) payment system has been recently introduced in selected several diseases including appendectomy in Korea. Here, we report the early outcomes with regard to clinical aspects and medical costs of the Korean DRG system for appendectomies in Seoul Metropolitan Government - Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center throughout comparing before and after introduction of DRG system.


          The DRG system was applied since January 2013 at our institute. After the DRG system, we strategically designed and applied our algorithm for the treatment of probable appendicitis. We reviewed the patients who were treated with a procedure of appendectomy for probable appendicitis between July 2012 and June 2013, divided two groups based on before and after the application of DRG system, and compared clinical outcomes and medical costs.


          Total 416 patients were included (204 patients vs. 212 patients in the group before vs. after DRG). Shorter hospital stays (2.98 ± 1.77 days vs. 3.82 ± 1.84 days, P < 0.001) were found in the group after DRG. Otherwise, there were no significant differences in the perioperative outcomes and medical costs including costs for first hospitalization and operation, costs for follow-up after discharge, frequency of visits of out-patient's clinic or Emergency Department or rehospitalization.


          In the Korean DRG system for appendectomy, there were no significant differences in perioperative outcomes and medical costs, except shorter hospital stay. Further studies should be continued to evaluate the current Korean DRG system for appendectomy and further modifications and supplementations are needed in the future.

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          Laparoscopic versus open appendectomy: outcomes comparison based on a large administrative database.

          To compare length of hospital stay, in-hospital complications, in-hospital mortality, and rate of routine discharge between laparoscopic and open appendectomy based on a representative, nationwide database. Numerous single-institutional randomized clinical trials have assessed the efficacy of laparoscopic and open appendectomy. The results, however, are conflicting, and a consensus concerning the relative advantages of each procedure has not yet been reached. Patients with primary ICD-9 procedure codes for laparoscopic and open appendectomy were selected from the 1997 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database that approximates 20% of all US community hospital discharges. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the risk-adjusted endpoints. Discharge abstracts of 43757 patients were used for our analyses. 7618 patients (17.4%) underwent laparoscopic and 36139 patients (82.6%) open appendectomy. Patients had an average age of 30.7 years and were predominantly white (58.1%) and male (58.6%). After adjusting for other covariates, laparoscopic appendectomy was associated with shorter median hospital stay (laparoscopic appendectomy: 2.06 days, open appendectomy: 2.88 days, P < 0.0001), lower rate of infections (odds ratio [OR] = 0.5 [0.38, 0.66], P < 0.0001), decreased gastrointestinal complications (OR = 0.8 [0.68, 0.96], P = 0.02), lower overall complications (OR = 0.84 [0.75, 0.94], P = 0.002), and higher rate of routine discharge (OR = 3.22 [2.47, 4.46], P < 0.0001). Laparoscopic appendectomy has significant advantages over open appendectomy with respect to length of hospital stay, rate of routine discharge, and postoperative in-hospital morbidity.
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            Laparoscopic versus open surgery for suspected appendicitis.

            Laparoscopic surgery for acute appendicitis has been proposed to have advantages over conventional surgery. To compare the diagnostic and therapeutic effects of laparoscopic and conventional 'open' surgery. We searched the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, CNKI, SciSearch, study registries, and the congress proceedings of endoscopic surgical societies. We included randomized clinical trials comparing laparoscopic (LA) versus open appendectomy (OA) in adults or children. Studies comparing immediate OA versus diagnostic laparoscopy (followed by LA or OA if necessary) were separately identified. Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality. Missing information or data was requested from the authors. We used odds ratios (OR), relative risks (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for analysis. We included 67 studies, of which 56 compared LA (with or without diagnostic laparoscopy) vs. OA in adults. Wound infections were less likely after LA than after OA (OR 0.43; CI 0.34 to 0.54), but the incidence of intraabdominal abscesses was increased (OR 1.87; CI 1.19 to 2.93). The duration of surgery was 10 minutes (CI 6 to 15) longer for LA. Pain on day 1 after surgery was reduced after LA by 8 mm (CI 5 to 11 mm) on a 100 mm visual analogue scale. Hospital stay was shortened by 1.1 day (CI 0.7 to 1.5). Return to normal activity, work, and sport occurred earlier after LA than after OA. While the operation costs of LA were significantly higher, the costs outside hospital were reduced. Seven studies on children were included, but the results do not seem to be much different when compared to adults. Diagnostic laparoscopy reduced the risk of a negative appendectomy, but this effect was stronger in fertile women (RR 0.20; CI 0.11 to 0.34) as compared to unselected adults (RR 0.37; CI 0.13 to 1.01). In those clinical settings where surgical expertise and equipment are available and affordable, diagnostic laparoscopy and LA (either in combination or separately) seem to have various advantages over OA. Some of the clinical effects of LA, however, are small and of limited clinical relevance. In spite of the mediocre quality of the available research data, we would generally recommend to use laparoscopy and LA in patients with suspected appendicitis unless laparoscopy itself is contraindicated or not feasible. Especially young female, obese, and employed patients seem to benefit from LA.
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              Hospital payment systems based on diagnosis-related groups: experiences in low- and middle-income countries

              Objective This paper provides a comprehensive overview of hospital payment systems based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) in low- and middle-income countries. It also explores design and implementation issues and the related challenges countries face. Methods A literature research for papers on DRG-based payment systems in low- and middle-income countries was conducted in English, French and Spanish through Pubmed, the Pan American Health Organization's Regional Library of Medicine and Google. Findings Twelve low- and middle-income countries have DRG-based payment systems and another 17 are in the piloting or exploratory stage. Countries have chosen from a wide range of imported and self-developed DRG models and most have adapted such models to their specific contexts. All countries have set expenditure ceilings. In general, systems were piloted before being implemented. The need to meet certain requirements in terms of coding standardization, data availability and information technology made implementation difficult. Private sector providers have not been fully integrated, but most countries have managed to delink hospital financing from public finance budgeting. Conclusion Although more evidence on the impact of DRG-based payment systems is needed, our findings suggest that (i) the greater portion of health-care financing should be public rather than private; (ii) it is advisable to pilot systems first and to establish expenditure ceilings; (iii) countries that import an existing variant of a DRG-based system should be mindful of the need for adaptation; and (iv) countries should promote the cooperation of providers for appropriate data generation and claims management.

                Author and article information

                Ann Surg Treat Res
                Ann Surg Treat Res
                Annals of Surgical Treatment and Research
                The Korean Surgical Society
                March 2015
                27 February 2015
                : 88
                : 3
                : 126-132
                Department of Surgery, Seoul Metropolitan Government - Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: In Mok Jung. Department of Surgery, Seoul Metropolitan Government - Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, 20 Boramae-ro 5-gil, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 156-707, Korea. Tel: +82-2-870-2272, Fax: +82-2-870-3863, imjung@ 123456brm.co.kr
                Copyright © 2015, the Korean Surgical Society

                Annals of Surgical Treatment and Research is an Open Access Journal. All articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 02 October 2014
                : 28 November 2014
                : 10 December 2014
                Original Article

                appendicitis,diagnosis-related groups,health care costs,prospective payment system


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