Therapeutic ERCP: A cost-prohibitive procedure?

R. S. Walker, A. D. Vanagunas*, P. Williams, H. B. Chodash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: ERCP is increasingly being performed for therapeutic purposes and engenders a proliferation of disposable equipment without a clear indication of cost-effectiveness. Methods: We analyzed the financial impact of ERCP by prospectively analyzing ERCPs performed in our institution from June 1, 1994, to September 30, 1994, by calculating charges related to indirect costs, disposable equipment costs, and overall reimbursement. The data were analyzed according to insurance payor as well. Results: Disposable equipment costs a mean of $149 per diagnostic ERCP and $532 per therapeutic ERCP. For diagnostic ERCP, disposable equipment accounted for 27% of reimbursement; for therapeutic ERCP, disposable equipment accounted for 68% of reimbursement. Although overall reimbursement was higher for therapeutic ERCP, the very high direct costs related to disposable equipment limited the ability of reimbursement to cover indirect costs. Conclusions: Depending on the complexity of cases, quantity of disposable equipment used, and patient- insurance mix, therapeutic ERCP may be cost prohibitive for a given endoscopy unit. Indirect costs should be more carefully and quantitatively analyzed. Disposable equipment should be evaluated in terms of cost, safety, and patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic ERCP: A cost-prohibitive procedure?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this