Cost of Cleft Team Care at an Academic Children’s Hospital

Jennifer Lee, Gary B. Skolnick, Sybill D. Naidoo, Sibyl Scheve, Cheryl Grellner, Alison Snyder-Warwick, Kamlesh B. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The financial burden of cleft-craniofacial team care is substantial, and high costs can hinder successful completion of team care. Solution: Collaboration with multiple stakeholders including providers, insurers, and patient guardians, as well as hospital administrators, is critical to increase patient retention and improve final clinical outcomes. What We Do That is New: At our cleft and craniofacial center, charges for a team care visit fall into one of three categories—hospital fees, professional fees, or external fees. There are four types of hospital fees depending on (1) whether the patient is new or returning, and (2) whether the patient saw ≤4 or ≥5 providers. To further elucidate the financial burden (out-of-pocket costs) directly borne by families of children with cleft lip and/or palate, we conducted a retrospective review of billing records of team care visits made between September 2019 and March 2020. Out-of-pocket costs for a single team care visit (on a commercial insurance plan) ranged from $4 to approximately $1220 and had a median (IQR) of $445 ($118, $749).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1428-1432
Number of pages5
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • cleft lip and palate
  • cost
  • multidisciplinary clinic
  • team care


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