The purpose of this paper was to (1) comprehensively analyze transplant-related costs for predicted temporal cost shifting and (2) to evaluate whether previous findings of decreasing costs of care persisted using a cost analysis of 353 NHL patients who received autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. All transplant-related costs between the patient's initial consult and program dismissal were obtained and inflated to constant 1995 dollars. Homogeneous resources were categorized into six cost-drivers and subdivided into outpatient, transplant, and additional inpatient time periods in order to evaluate resource utilization and cost shifting patterns. Between 1989 and 1991 both the average length of stay and comprehensive costs decreased 4.9 days and 14%, respectively. By 1995 additional decreases of 25.7 days and 51% led to an overall 7 year cost decline of 65%. Percent contributions of the six cost-drivers remained similar demonstrating uniformed suppression in transplant-related resource consumption. In contrast, the timing of resource utilization changed dramatically, with transplant hospitalization costs accounting for 83% of the overall costs in 1989, 71% by 1992, and only 45% in 1995, while total outpatient's contribution was 14%, 26% and 49%. Before 1991 ebbing costs were likely related to the development of new technologies such as hematopoietic growth factors and peripheral SCT, while the three-fold larger improvement in costs reported by 1995 are presumably associated with learning curve effects such as organizational changes, increased use of coordinated outpatient facilities, and the more cost-effective use of laboratory tests and pharmaceuticals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas