Does Value Vary by Center Surgical Volume for Neonates With Truncus Arteriosus? A Multicenter Study

Joyce T. Johnson*, Denise M. Scholtens, Alan Kuang, Xiang Yu Feng, Osama M. Eltayeb, Lori A. Post, Bradley Scott Marino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Truncus arteriosus is a congenital heart defect with high resource use, cost, and mortality. Value assessment (outcome relative to cost) can improve quality of care and decrease cost. This study hypothesized that truncus arteriosus repair at a high-volume center would result in better outcomes at lower cost (higher value) compared with a low-volume center. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed a multicenter cohort of neonates undergoing truncus arteriosus repair (2004 to 2015) by using the Pediatric Health Information Systems database. Multivariate quantile, logistic, and negative binomial regression models were used to evaluate total hospital cost, in-hospital mortality, ventilation days, intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), hospital LOS, and days of inotropic agent use by center volume (high-volume >3/year) and age at repair while adjusting for sex, ethnicity, race, genetic abnormality, prematurity, low birth weight, concurrent interrupted arch repair, and truncal valve repair. Results: Of 1024 neonates with truncus arteriosus, 495 (48%) were treated at high-volume centers. Costs at the 75th percentile were lower at high-volume vs low-volume centers by $28,456 (P = .02) at all ages at repair. Patients at high-volume centers had lower median postoperative ventilation days (5 days vs 6 days; P <. 001), intensive care unit LOS (13 days vs 19 days; P <. 001), hospital LOS (23 days vs 28 days; P = .02), and inotropic agent use (3 days vs 4 days; P = .004). In-hospital mortality did not differ by center volume. Conclusions: In neonates undergoing truncus arteriosus repair, costs are lower and outcomes are better at high-volume centers, thus resulting in higher value at all ages of repair. Value-based interventions should be considered to improve outcomes and decrease cost in truncus arteriosus care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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