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Excess Costs Associated With Complications and Prolonged Length of Stay After Congenital Heart Surgery
Challenges of balancing reduced costs and improved quality were explored for congenital heart surgery linking clinical data from STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database patients to administrative data from the Pediatric Health Information Systems Database. Excess costs associated with any complication were over $56,000, and this increased to more than $132,000 for major complications. The major contributors to excess cost were tracheostomy, pulmonary complications, renal failure, reoperation, and the need for mechanical circulatory support. The Norwood operation offered the greatest opportunity to reduce costs by reducing complications.