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The American Journal of Managed Care July 2018
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Currently Reading
Inpatient Placement: Associations With Mortality, Cost, and Length of Stay
Daniel A. Handel, MD, MBA, MPH; Zemin Su, MS; Nancy Hendry, MSN; and Patrick Mauldin, PhD

Inpatient Placement: Associations With Mortality, Cost, and Length of Stay

Daniel A. Handel, MD, MBA, MPH; Zemin Su, MS; Nancy Hendry, MSN; and Patrick Mauldin, PhD
Placement of patients in an inpatient hospital setting is associated with lower length of stay and mortality at the expense of higher costs.
ABSTRACT

Objectives: Tertiary referral centers have created inpatient units to meet the needs of specific patient populations but sometimes are forced to place patients on other units that, although having the basic necessary skillsets for treating the patient, are not focused on that diagnosis area. The objective of this study was to look at outcomes of patients admitted to these different inpatient settings.

Study Design: Retrospective review of patient data from a single tertiary academic medical center from August 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, comparing patients admitted to primary versus secondary inpatient services. Patients admitted to the inpatient children’s hospital, psychiatric hospital, labor and delivery unit, or subacute transitional care unit were excluded.

Methods: Demographics of patients in the primary versus secondary units were compared to look for systematic differences between the 2 patient populations. To control for confounding variables, a gamma regression analysis was conducted for length of stay (LOS) and total cost, whereas a logistic regression was conducted for mortality.

Results: Admitting to the primary unit resulted in 5.5% lower observed LOS, controlling for other patient variables, but it came at a 17.8% higher total cost of care provided compared with secondary units. Mortality was also found to be lower on primary units (odds ratio, 0.864) but did not cross the threshold of statistical significance (P = .101).

Conclusions: Patients admitted to the primary unit had a lower LOS with higher costs of care. There was a trend toward improved mortality, although it was not statistically significant.

Am J Manag Care. 2018;24(7):e230-e233

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