Indiscriminate Pathologic Examination of Pediatric Supraglottoplasty Specimens: An Evidence-Based Approach toward Exempt Status

Alhasan N. Elghouche, Mohamedkazim M. Alwani, Bruce H. Matt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to demonstrate that indiscriminate pathologic evaluation of supraglottoplasty specimens is unnecessary and does not influence postoperative management. The secondary objective was to determine the costs associated with pathologic evaluation of supraglottoplasty specimens. Methods: A planned chart review was conducted to evaluate data from consecutive patients undergoing supraglottoplasty. Demographic data were extracted and pathology reports were reviewed. Projected cost savings were estimated based on 2018 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reimbursement rates for Current Procedural Terminology code 88304 (surgical pathology, gross and microscopic examination). Results: A total of 1417 consecutive patients were identified. All specimens underwent gross and microscopic examination. Pathologic outcomes were categorized into 3 major categories: no diagnostic abnormality (n = 1069), chronic inflammation (n = 346), and other (n = 2). Pathologic evaluation did not alter postoperative management in any patient. Projected yearly and 5-year cost- savings totaled $11,818.08 and $59,173.92, respectively. Discussion: These findings demonstrate that pathologic examination of supraglottoplasty specimens adds no value to patient management. A more selective approach to pathologic examination of certain surgical specimens is an improvement opportunity to enhance the value of patient care by eliminating direct financial costs and “hidden costs” associated with unnecessarily increased workload. Implications for Practice: Addressing inappropriate, indiscriminate pathologic examination of certain surgical specimens is a potential quality improvement opportunity that has a meaningful impact on the value of patient care and reduces strains on the workload of surgical and pathology department personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • exempt specimen
  • lean
  • PS/QI
  • supraglottoplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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