In outpatient surgery, also called ambulatory or same-day surgery, patients normally require hospital care for less than 24 hours. These operations are increasingly being used because advances in surgical technology and anaesthesia enable surgeons to perform many operations formally limited to inpatient care.
The federal agency's analysis of data available from 28 states found that in 2007:
Charges for outpatient procedures were seven times lower than for inpatient ones. The average hospital charge for an outpatient procedure was 6,100 U.S. dollars in 2007, compared with 39,900 U.S. dollars for an inpatient procedure,
Outpatient surgery charges for hospital totalled 55.6 billion U.S. dollars compared with 259 billion U.S. dollars for inpatient surgeries.
Colonoscopies and resulting biopsies were – with 18 percent of all ambulatory procedures - the most frequently performed outpatient procedure, followed by upper gastrointestinal endoscopies and related biopsies (eleven percent), lens and cataract procedures (5.5 percent), and diagnostic cardiac catheterization (four percent).
This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Hospital-Based Ambulatory Surgery, 2007. The report uses statistics from 28 States that provide data to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Ambulatory Surgery Databases and their corresponding State Inpatient Databases. These databases provide information on hospital-based ambulatory and inpatient surgeries performed in short-term, acute care hospitals.