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Cost analysis of Topical Negative Pressure (TNP) Therapy for traumatic acquired wounds

German Medical Science GMS Publishing House
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3205/000102
  • Article
  • Economics
  • Medicine


Extended traumatic wounds require extended reconstructive operations and are accompanied by long hospitalizations and risks of infection, thrombosis and flap loss. In particular, the frequently used Topical Negative Pressure (TNP) Therapy is regarded as cost-intensive. The costs of TNP in the context of traumatic wounds is analyzed using the method of health economic evaluation. All patients (n=67: 45 male, 22 female; average age 54 y) with traumatically acquired wounds being treated with TNP at the university hospital of Goettingen in the period 01/01/2005–31/12/2007 comprise the basis for this analysis. The concept of activity-based costing based on clinical pathways according to InEK (National Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System) systematic calculations was chosen for cost accounting. In addition, a special module system adaptable for individual courses of disease was developed. The treated wounds were located on a lower extremity in 83.7% of cases (n=56) and on an upper extremity in 16.3% of cases (n=11). The average time of hospitalization of the patients was 54 days. Twenty-five patients (37.31%) exceeded the „maximum length of stay“ of their associated DRG (Diagnosis Related Groups). The total PCCL (patient clinical complexity level = patient severity score) of 2.99 reflects the seriousness of disease. For the treatment of the 67 patients, total costs were $1,729,922.32 (1,249,176.91 €). The cost calculation showed a financial deficit of $–210,932.50 (–152,314.36 €). Within the entire treatment costs of $218,848.07 (158,030.19 €), 12.65% per case were created by TNP with material costs of $102,528.74 (74,036 €), representing 5.92% of entire costs. The cost of TNP per patient averaged $3,266.39 (2,358.66 €). The main portion of the costs was not – as is often expected – due to high material costs of TNP but instead to long-term treatments. Because of their complexity, the cases are insufficiently represented in the lump-sum calculation of the InEK. A differentiated integration of complex TNP-treatment in the DRG system (e.g., as an expanded DRG I98Z) would be a step towards cost recovery. In addition, the refunding of outpatient TNP-treatment would lead to enhanced quality of life for the patients and to a reduction of hospital costs and length of stay.

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