Laryngeal cancer cost analysis: Association of case-mix and treatment characteristics with medical charges

David J. Arnold, Gerry F. Funk, Lucy Hynds Karnell, Achih H. Chen, Henry T. Hoffman, Joan M. Ricks, M. Bridget Zimmerman, Dean P. Corbae, Weining Zhen, Timothy M. McCulloch, Scott M. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the relationship of various pretreatment case-mix characteristics and treatment modalities with medical charges incurred during diagnosis, treatment, and 2-year follow-up for patients with laryngeal cancer. Design: Retrospective chart review and billing record analysis. Methods: The charts and billing records of patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1994 were reviewed. The independent variables included various pretreatment patient-mix and tumor characteristics (age, AJCC TNM clinical stage, smoking history, ASA class, and comorbidity as defined by Kaplan-Feinstein grade) as well as type of treatment. The dependent variables included total physician, office, and university hospital-based charges incuffed during the pretreatment evaluation and 0- to 3-, 3- to 12-, and 12- to 24-month billing periods after the initiation of cancer-directed therapy. Total 1-year and 2-year charges were also evaluated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to investigate the relationships between dependent and independent variables and to develop models predictive of management charges during the individual and total billing periods. Results: Pretreatment charges showed no significant associations (P < .05) with any of the independent variables. Multiple regression analyses indicated that comorbidity, stage, and initial treatment modality were significant variables in one or more of the models predicting charges incurred during the 0- to 3-month, 3- to 12-month, total 1-year, and total 2-year billing periods. The models yielded R2 values for the total 1- and 2-year billing periods of 0.5246 and 0.5055, respectively. Conclusions: This work supports continued study of measures that may result in earlier detection of laryngeal cancer as a potential means of reducing management charges. These results also indicate that a more accurate method of stratifying the disease severity of laryngeal cancer patients for reimbursement purposes would include measurements of the severity of the index disease as well as comorbid diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost analysis
  • Laryngeal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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