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Original article

Vol. 151 No. 1112 (2021)

Continuous versus routine EEG in critically ill adults: reimbursement analysis of a randomised trial

Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20477



Continuous EEG (cEEG) is increasingly used in critically ill patients, but it is more resource-intensive than routine EEG (rEEG). In the US, cEEG generates increased hospitalisation charges. This study analysed hospital-related reimbursement for participants in a Swiss multicentre randomised controlled trial that assessed the relationship of cEEG versus repeated rEEG with outcome.


We used data of the CERTA study (NCT03129438), including demographics, clinical variables and reimbursement for acute hospitalisations after the Swiss Diagnosis Related Groups billing system. In addition to a comparison between EEG intervention groups, we explored correlations with several clinical variables, using uni- and multivariate analyses.


In total, 366 adults were analysed (184 cEEG, 182 rEEG); 123 (33.6%) were women, mean age was 63.8 years (± 15). Median hospitalisation reimbursement was comparable across EEG groups in univariate analysis: cEEG CHF 89,631 (interquartile range [IQR] 45,635–159,994); rEEG CHF 73,017 (IQR 43,031–158,565); p = 0.432. However, multivariate regression disclosed that increasing reimbursement mostly correlated with longer acute hospitalisation (p <0.001), but also with cEEG (p = 0.019) and lack of seizure / status epilepticus detection (a surrogate of survival, p = 0.036).


In a Swiss Diagnosis Related Groups billing system applied to critically ill adults, reimbursement largely depends on duration of acute hospital stay, whereas cEEG and lack of seizure/ status epilepticus detection also contribute to the bill. This differs from the USA, where charges are directly increased by cEEG.


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