Time Under: Hospital and Patient Characteristics Affecting Anesthesia Duration
One aspect of the quality of surgical care is the length of the time patients spend in the operating room and under anesthesia. It is generally believed that the longer a surgical procedure, the greater the chance of a complication. But because obtaining procedure and anesthesia times usually involves a direct review of medical records, few large-scale studies are able to examine procedure times. This Issue Brief summarizes new work that validates the use of Medicare billing data as a proxy for anesthesia times, and illustrates how these data can shed light on hospital and patient characteristics that affect procedure duration and surgical quality.