Previous studies suggest that nonelective coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is more costly than elective CABG. The goal of this study was to examine why cost differences exist between patients undergoing nonelective and elective CABG.
We compared the outcomes and costs of treating 1613 consecutive patients undergoing nonelective (N = 1071) and elective (N = 542) CABG at three U.S. hospitals. Participating centers each used the same cost accounting system to provide patient-level clinical and cost data. Total, direct, and overhead costs were examined as were department-level costs.
Compared to elective patients, nonelective patients were of similar age (66.4 years vs 67.0 years, respectively, p = NS), but were more likely to be female (32.7% vs 24.0%, p = 0.0003). Nonelective patients had longer lengths of stay (LOS) than elective patients (9.7 +/- 0.2 days vs 6.6 +/- 0.3 days, p