Hospitals with greater diversities of physiologically complex procedures do not achieve greater surgical growth in a market with stable numbers of such procedures

Franklin Dexter, Richard H. Epstein, David A. Lubarsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Study objective: Although having a large diversity of types of procedures has a substantial operational impact on the surgical suites of hospitals, the strategic importance is unknown. In the current study, we used longitudinal data for all hospitals and patient ages in the State of Florida to evaluate whether hospitals with greater diversity of types of physiologically complex major therapeutic procedures (PCMTP) also had greater rates of surgical growth. Design: Observational cohort study. Setting: 1479 combinations of hospitals in the State of Florida and fiscal years, 2008–2015. Measurements: The types of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) procedures studied were PCMT, defined as: a) major therapeutic procedure; b) > 7 American Society of Anesthesiologists base units; and c) performed during a hospitalization with a Diagnosis Related Group with a mean length of stay ≥ 4.0 days. The number of procedures of each type of PCMTP commonly performed at each hospital was calculated by taking 1/Herfindahl index (i.e., sum of the squares of the proportions of all procedures of each type of PCMTP). Main results: Over the 8 successive years studied, there was no change in the number of PCMTP being performed (Kendall's τb = − 0.014 ± 0.017 [standard error], P = 0.44; N = 1479 hospital × years). Busier and larger hospitals commonly performed more types of PCMTP, respectively categorized based on performed PCMTP (τ = 0.606 ± 0.017, P < 0.0001) or hospital beds (τ = 0.524 ± 0.017, P < 0.0001). There was no association between greater diversity of types of PCMTP commonly performed and greater annual growth in numbers of PCMTP (τ = 0.002 ± 0.019, P = 0.91; N = 1295 hospital × years). Conclusions were the same with multiple sensitivity analyses. Post hoc, it was recognized that hospitals performing a greater diversity of PCMTP were more similar to the aggregate of other hospitals within the same health district (τ = 0.550 ± 0.017, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: During a period with no overall growth in PCMTP, hospitals with greater diversities of types of PCMTP had growth that was, at most, minimally larger than that of the smaller hospitals, and vice-versa. Diversity is important operationally. From the perspective of delivering surgical care within a market, the unique contributions of each large teaching hospital performing many different types of PCMTP needs to be considered relative to the combined capabilities of other hospitals in its region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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