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J Chir (Paris). 2009 Oct;146(5):469-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jchir.2009.09.003. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

[Financial analysis of a department of general surgery in a French hospital. The new "fee-for-service" reimbursement system results in a high deficit for emergency care].

[Article in French]

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Service de chirurgie digestive, hôpital Foch, 40, rue Worth, 92151 Suresnes cedex, France.



The aim of this study was to perform a detailed analysis of income and expense in a department of general surgery in a French hospital under the new system of funding based on a "fee-for-service" principle.


All hospital stays of year 2006 were analysed retrospectively. The conditions of admission (elective vs. emergency), the principal diagnosis, and surgical procedures were examined. We determined hospital costs and the reimbursement for every admission.


One thousand nine hundred and eighty-five hospitalizations generated an income of 8Meuros with a deficit of 1.3Meuros. The 775 elective admissions generated 50% of the income and 13% of the deficit (178,562euros). Seven hundred and forty-nine emergency admissions generated 45% of the income and 82% of deficit (1.1Meuros). Four hundred and sixty-one admissions for endoscopy generated 5% of the income and 5% of the deficit (67,249euros). Hospital stays of less than two days (the minimum duration of stay for total reimbursement) caused a loss of 122,624euros. Length of hospital stay below the lower limit caused a loss of 42,850euros.


Elective surgical activity in digestive surgery can generate a balanced budget provided the length of hospital stay is reduced to the minimum, sometimes to the detriment of patient comfort. Emergency admissions result in a large deficit between cost and reimbursement; this fact may lead hospitals to avoid emergency activity in the future unless appropriate remedial measures are taken.

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