Case Studies

Preliminary Cost Evaluation of Employee Benefits Division Bariatric Surgery Program

August 1, 2014

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Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH
President & CEO
501-526-2244
achi@achi.net

 

In 2011 legislation (Act 855 of the 88th General Assembly) was passed in Arkansas creating a pilot program within the Department of Finance and Administration, Employee Benefits Division (EBD) that covers the expenses of bariatric surgery for qualified state employees and their covered spouses.

This analysis examines the pre- and post-surgical medical costs among program participants in order to assess the short-term financial effects of bariatric surgery. Using medical claims data provided by the EBD, we find no significant variation in average monthly medical costs before and after surgery. However, these results should be interpreted with caution given the short duration of the follow-up time period.