Study shows the “Weekend Effect” increases Hospitalization costs
A study recently published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal revealed some quite interesting facts. It seems that the costs for hospitalization after a body contouring procedure are highly increased during weekend. At the same moment it seems that the length of stay is higher when the procedure takes place during weekend. More specifically it is found that hospitalization costs during weekend are higher comparing to weekday costs at about $35,481 while the average length of stay is at 5.68 days which is higher comparing to the length of stay for the same procedure if conducted during weekdays. Another, not statistically safe data shows that mortality is higher on weekends (3.7%) comparing to weekdays (0.5%).
It took 11 years for the study to be completed and 50346 body contouring procedures were taken into consideration by plastic surgeons working at John Hopkins University, Saint Luis University School of Medicine and University of Maryland.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Devinder Singh, Associate Professor of the University of Maryland Medical Center comments on the results of the study: “The reasons for the less favorable outcomes can be attributed to the weekend effect because hospital staff and resources are decreased over the weekend, including consulting and diagnostic testing service, which leads to a decreased level of patient care and slower service in departments that support surgeons and their patients, such as processing X-rays, providing rehabilitation or monitoring pain. In addition, it is unlikely for the operating surgeon to have his or her usual operating team over the weekend which could slow down the surgery,”
Foad Nahai MD, the study Editor-in-Chief, also highlights the fact that though patients prefer weekends for such procedures (because it seems more convenient, they are not aware that this will lead to higher costs and longer stay: “Patients prefer the weekend because it’s more convenient from a scheduling standpoint, but unbeknownst to them they could be signing up for a longer hospital stay while acquiring additional costs.”