Economic analysis of a telemedicine clinic in pediatric neurosurgery

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J Neurosurg Pediatr. February 4, 2022: 1-6. doi: 10.3171/2021.12.PEDS21403. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The authors’ objective was to compare the actual cost of a regional pediatric neurosurgery telemedicine clinic (PNTMC) with the estimated cost of a traditional outreach clinic staffed by medical personnel.

METHODS: The authors’ PNTMC was a partnership between the University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville and Georgia Children’s Medical Services to serve the population of the Southeast Georgia Health District. Jacksonville-based neurosurgeons conducted telemedicine visits with patients at a remote site in Georgia with assistance from Children’s Medical Services nursing staff. The authors determined the actual annual costs per patient at the Jacksonville and Georgia sites for fiscal years 2018 (FY18) and 2019 (FY19) and estimated the cost of providing traditional, medically staffed outreach clinics.

RESULTS: In fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the neurosurgery team conducted an average of 24.5 telemedicine patient visits per year, at a cost of $369 per patient visit. The cost per patient was 32.5% lower than the estimated cost per patient of $547 in a traditional outreach clinic.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors provided neurosurgical telehealth visits to appropriate patients, with substantial cost savings per patient visit compared to traditional medically staffed outreach clinics.

PMID:35120321 | DOI:10.3171/2021.12.PEDS21403

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