Economic analysis of a pediatric neurosurgery telemedicine clinic

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  • 1 University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida;
  • | 2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida;
  • | 3 Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida; and
  • | 4 University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, Gainesville, Florida
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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 physician-staffed outreach clinic.

METHODS

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

RESULTS

During FY18 and FY19, the neurosurgery team conducted an average of 24.5 telemedicine patient encounters per year at a cost of $369 per patient visit. The per-patient cost was 32.5% less than the estimated per-patient cost of $547 at a traditional outreach clinic.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors provided neurosurgical telehealth visits to appropriate patients, with a substantial cost savings per patient visit compared with traditional physician-staffed outreach clinics.

ABBREVIATIONS

APP = advanced practice provider; CMS = Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; FY18 = fiscal year 2018; FY19 = fiscal year 2019; LGPNC = Lucy Gooding Pediatric Neurosurgery Center; PNTMC = pediatric neurosurgery telemedicine clinic.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Tables and Figures (PDF 534 KB)

Diagram from Behbahani et al. (pp 488–496).

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