Does the United States economy affect heart failure readmissions? A single metropolitan center analysis.
Clin Cardiol. 2012 Aug;35(8):474-7
Authors: Thompson KA, Morrissey RP, Phan A, Schwarz ER
BACKGROUND: To determine the effects of the US economy on heart failure hospitalization rates.
HYPOTHESIS: The recession was associated with worsening unemployment, loss of private insurance and prescription medication benefits, medication nonadherence, and ultimately increased rates of hospitalization for heart failure.
METHODS: We compared hospitalization rates at a large, single, academic medical center from July 1, 2006 to February 28, 2007, a time of economic stability, and July 1, 2008 to February 28, 2009, a time of economic recession in the United States.
RESULTS: Significantly fewer patients had private medical insurance during the economic recession than during the control period (36.5% vs 46%; P = 0.04). Despite this, there were no differences in the heart failure hospitalization or readmission rates, length of hospitalization, need for admission to an intensive care unit, in-hospital mortality, or use of guideline-recommended heart failure medications between the 2 study periods.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that despite significant effects on medical insurance coverage, rates of heart failure hospitalization at our institution were not significantly affected by the recession. Additional large-scale population-based research is needed to better understand the effects of fluctuations in the US economy on heart failure hospitalization rates.
PMID: 22522474 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]