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  • Out-of-Pocket Costs and Provider Payments in Cleft Lip and Palate Repair. Annals of plastic surgery Rochlin, D. H., Ma, L. W., Sheckter, C. C., Lorenz, H. P. 2022


    BACKGROUND: As healthcare spending within the United States grows, payers have attempted to curb spending through higher cost sharing for patients. For families attempting to balance financial obligations with their children's surgical needs, high cost sharing could place families in difficult situations, deciding between life-altering surgery and bankruptcy. We aim to investigate trends in patient cost sharing and provider payments for cleft lip and palate repair.METHODS: The IBM MarketScan Commercial Database was queried to extract patients younger than 18 years who underwent primary or secondary cleft lip and/or palate repair from 2007 to 2016. Financial variables included gross payments to the provider (facility and/or physician), net payment as reported by the carrier, coordination of benefits and other savings, and the beneficiary contribution, which consisted of patients' coinsurance, copay, and deductible payments. Linear regression was used to evaluate trends in payments over time. Poisson regression was used to trend the proportion of patients with a nonzero beneficiary contribution. All financial values were adjusted to 2016 dollars per the consumer price index to account for inflation.RESULTS: The sample included 6268 cleft lip and 9118 cleft palate repair episodes. Total provider payments increased significantly from 2007 to 2016 for patients undergoing cleft lip (median, $2527.33 vs $5116.30, P 0.008) and palate ($1766.13 vs $3511.70, P < 0.001) repair. Beneficiary contribution also increased significantly for both cleft lip ($155.75 vs $193.31, P < 0.001) and palate ($124.37 vs $183.22, P < 0.001) repair, driven by an increase in deductibles (P < 0.002). The proportion of cleft palate patients with a nonzero beneficiary contribution increased yearly by 1.6% (P = 0.002). Higher provider payments and beneficiary contributions were found in the Northeast (P < 0.001) and South (P < 0.011), respectively, for both cleft lip and palate repair.CONCLUSIONS: The US national data demonstrate that for commercially insured patients with cleft lip and/or palate, there has been a trend toward higher patient cost sharing, most pronounced in the South. This suggests that patients are bearing an increased cost burden while provider payments are simultaneously accelerating. Additional studies are needed to understand the impact of increased cost sharing on parents' decision to pursue cleft lip and/or palate repair for their children.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003081

    View details for PubMedID 35180754