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The inpatient experience and predictors of length of stay for patients hospitalized with systolic heart failure: comparison by commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare payer type

The inpatient experience and predictors of length of stay for patients hospitalized with systolic heart failure: comparison by commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare payer type

Journal of Medical Economics 16(1): 43-54

Descriptions of the inpatient experience for patients hospitalized with systolic heart failure (HF) are limited and lack a cross-sectional representation of the US population. While length of stay (LOS) is a primary determinant of resource use and post-discharge events, few models exist for estimating LOS. MarketScan(®) administrative claims data from 1/1/2005-6/30/2008 were used to select hospitalized patients aged ≥18 years with discharge diagnoses for both HF (primary diagnosis) and systolic HF (any diagnostic position) without prior HF hospitalization or undergoing transplantation. Among 17,597 patients with systolic HF; 4109 had commercial; 2118 had Medicaid; and 11,370 had Medicare payer type. Medicaid patients had longer mean LOS (7.1 days) than commercial (6.3 days) or Medicare (6.7 days). In-hospital mortality was highest for patients with Medicaid (2.4%), followed by Medicare (1.3%) and commercial (0.6%). Commercial patients were more likely to receive inpatient procedures. Renal failure, pressure ulcer, malnutrition, a non-circulatory index admission DRG, receipt of a coronary artery bypass procedure or cardiac catheterization, or need for mechanical ventilation during the index admission were associated with increased LOS; receipt of a pacemaker device at index was associated with shorter LOS. Selection of patients with systolic HF is limited by completeness and accuracy of medical coding, and results may not be generalizable to patients with diastolic HF or to international populations. Inpatient care, LOS, and in-hospital survival differ by payer among patients hospitalized with systolic HF, although co-morbidity and inpatient procedures consistently influence LOS across payer types. These findings may refine risk stratification, allowing for targeted intensive inpatient management and/or aggressive transitional care to improve outcomes and increase the efficiency of care.

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Accession: 056387011

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PMID: 22954063

DOI: 10.3111/13696998.2012.726932

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