Background: Recent policy initiatives aim to improve the value of care for patients hospitalized with pneumonia. It is unclear whether higher 30-day episode spending at the hospital level is associated with any difference in patient mortality among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. Methods: This retrospective cohort study assessed the association between hospital-level spending and patient-level mortality for a 30-day episode of care. The study used data for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries hospitalized at an acute care hospital with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia from July 2011 to June 2014. Analysis was conducted by using Medicare payment data made publicly available by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the Hospital Compare website combined with Medicare Part A claims data to identify patient outcomes. Results: A total of 1,017,353 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries were hospitalized for pneumonia across 3,021 US hospitals during the study period. Mean ± SD 30-day spending for an episode of pneumonia care was $14,324 ± $1,305. The observed 30-day all-cause mortality rate was 11.9%. After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, no association was found between higher 30-day episode spending at the hospital level and 30-day patient mortality (adjusted OR, 1.00 for every $1,000 increase in spending; 95% CI, 0.99-1.01). Conclusions: Higher hospital-level spending for a 30-day episode of care for pneumonia was not associated with any difference in patient mortality.
- health-care spending