Economic analysis of a pediatric neurosurgery telemedicine clinic

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


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.

PMID:35120321 | DOI:10.3171/2021.12.PEDS21403