Readmission predicts 90-day mortality after esophagectomy: Analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Registry linked to Medicare outcomes

Yinin Hu, Timothy L. McMurry, George J. Stukenborg, Benjamin D. Kozower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Postoperative readmission is an increasingly scrutinized quality metric that affects patient satisfaction and cost. Even more important is its implication for short-term prognosis. The purpose of this study is to characterize postesophagectomy readmissions and determine their relationship with subsequent 90-day mortality. Methods Data were extracted for esophagectomy patients from the linked SEER-Medicare Registry (2000-2009), which provides longitudinal information about Medicare beneficiaries who have cancer. We assessed demographics, comorbidities, 30-day readmission, and 90-day mortality. Readmitting facility and diagnoses were identified. A hierarchic multivariable regression model clustered at the hospital level assessed the relationship between readmission within 30 days of discharge and 90-day mortality. Results We identified 1543 patients discharged alive after esophagectomy. Among patients discharged alive, the readmission rate was 319 of 1543 (20.7%); 107 of 319 (33.5%) readmissions were to facilities that did not perform the index operation. Mortality rate at 90 days among patients discharged alive was 98 of 1543 (6.4%). Readmission was associated with a 4-fold increase in mortality (16.3% vs 3.8%, P <.001). Using multivariable regression, readmission was the strongest predictor of mortality (odds ratio 6.64, P <.001), with a stronger association than age, Charlson score, and index length of stay. Readmission diagnoses with the highest mortality rates were those associated with pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular diagnoses. Conclusions Patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge after esophagectomy are at exceptionally high risk for early mortality. Early recognition of life-threatening readmission diagnoses is essential to providing optimal care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume150
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • esophageal cancer
  • esophagectomy
  • outcomes
  • postoperative mortality
  • postoperative readmission

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