Hospitals Overspending on Blood Transfusions
Priest says this saving was achieved largely because surgeons were less likely to transfuse certain low-risk patients than they were before. But additionally, more patients were transfused with less blood.
"The surgeons became more comfortable that they could safely transfuse patients to a lower level (of hemoglobin or hematocrit) than they once were," Priest says.
By Premier's analysis, administering blood transfusions is the single most commonly billed procedure hospitals provide, with 15 million blood product transfusions each year, at a cost of $10 billion to $15 billion.
Part of the reason for such wide variation is the lack of universally agreed guidelines for when surgeons should transfuse. Different professional organizations recommend different protocols, and policies differ on the use of presurgical erythropoietin, a drug that can stimulate the growth of red blood cells in hope of avoiding the need for a transfusion.
- CVS Ramps Up Retail Clinics with Provider Affiliations
- 4 Tectonic Shifts Shaking Up Healthcare
- Drug Pricing 'Tantamount to Greed,' Lawmaker Says
- Contradictory Obamacare Rulings Issued by Appellate Courts
- Study Puts Spotlight on Preventing Fall-Related Injuries
- Wanted: Nurse PhDs
- As HIPAA Breaches Accelerate, Tools Lag
- Roundtable: Life After a Healthcare Organization Acquisition
- The Infection-Busting Treatment Payers Don’t Want to Talk About
- Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death, Senators Told