Abstract 17143: Shorter Length of Stay is Associated With Significantly Lower 30-day All-cause Readmission and 30-day All-cause Mortality in Older Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized for Heart Failure
Background: A shorter hospital length of stay, encouraged by Prospective Payment System Act, may result in suboptimal care and early discharge. Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause for 30-day all-cause readmission. However, it is unknown whether hospitalized HF patients with a shorter length of stay may have higher 30-day all-cause readmission, the reduction of which is a goal of the Affordable Care Act.
Methods: The 8049 Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for HF and discharged alive from 106 U.S. hospitals (1998-2001) had a median length of stay of 5 days (interquartile, 4-8 days), of which 4272 (53%) had length of stay ≤ 5 days. Using propensity scores for length of stay 1-5 days, we assembled a matched cohort of 2788 pairs of patients with length of stay 1-5 and ≥6 days, balanced on 32 baseline characteristics.
Results: 30-day all-cause readmission occurred in 19% and 23% of matched patients with length of stay 1-5 and ≥6 days, respectively (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70-0.89; Figure, left panel). When the length of stay of the 8049 pre-match patients was used as a continuous variable and adjusted for the same 32 variables, each day longer hospital stay was associated with a 2% higher risk of 30-day all-cause readmission (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03; p<0.001). Among matched patients, HR for 30-day HF readmission associated with length of stay 1-5 days was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.69-1.01; p=0.063). 30-day all-cause mortality occurred in 4.6% and 6.2% of matched patients with length of stay 1-5 and ≥6 days, respectively (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91; Figure, right panel). These associations persisted throughout 12 months post-discharge.
Conclusions: Among hospitalized patients with HF, length of stay 1-5 days (vs. longer) was associated with significantly lower 30-day all-cause readmissions and all-cause mortality that persisted throughout first year post-discharge.
Author Disclosures: C. Arundel: None. A. Ahmed: None. R. Khosla: None. C. Faselis: None. C. Morgan: None. S. Zhang: None. M. Blackman: None. R.D. Fletcher: None. W. Wu: None. G.C. Fonarow: Consultant/Advisory Board; Modest; Medtronic, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Boston Scientific. Research Grant; Significant; NIH. Consultant/Advisory Board; Significant; Novartis. P. Deedwania: None. J. Butler: None. S. Deftereos: None. W.S. Aronow: None. S.D. Anker: None. R.M. Allman: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.