Health care utilization, costs, and readmission rates associated with hyponatremia.

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Health care utilization, costs, and readmission rates associated with hyponatremia.

Hosp Pract (Minneap). 2013 Feb;41(1):89-95

Authors: Deitelzweig S, Amin A, Christian R, Friend K, Lin J, Lowe TJ


Purpose: Hyponatremia is associated with higher morbidity and mortality rates among hospitalized patients. Our study evaluated health care utilization and associated costs of patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of hyponatremia. Methods: Hospitalized patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of hyponatremia (aged ? 18 years) were identified from the Premier Perspective™ database (January 1, 2007-March 31, 2010) and matched to non-hyponatremic (non-HN) patients using a combination of exact patient characteristic matching and propensity score matching. Univariate and multivariate statistics were used to compare hospital resource usage, costs, and 30-day readmission rates between cohorts. Results: Hospital length of stay (LOS) (± standard deviation) (3.78 ± 3.19 vs 3.54 ± 3.26 days; P < 0.001) and cost ($5396 ± $6500 vs $4979 ± $6152; P < 0.001 for the hyponatremic [HN] and non-HN patient cohorts, respectively) were greater for the HN cohort, but intensive care unit (ICU) costs ($3554 ± $6463 vs $3484 ± $8510; P = 0.828) and ICU LOS (2.37 ± 3.47 vs 2.52 ± 3.87; P = 0.345) did not differ between cohorts. The ICU admission rate (7.9% vs 4.4%; P < 0.001), as well as the 30-day readmission rate (12.1% vs 2.9%; P < 0.001) were greater for the HN cohort. After adjustment for key patient characteristics, hyponatremia was associated with a 7.6% increase in hospital LOS, an 8.9% increase in hospital costs, and a 9% increase in ICU costs. Hyponatremia was associated with an increased risk of ICU admission (odds ratio, 1.89, confidence limits, 1.72, 2.07; P < 0.001) and 30-day hospital readmission for hyponatremia (odds ratio, 4.76; confidence limits, 4.31, 5.26; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Compared with non-HN patients, patients with a primary diagnosis of hyponatremia use a greater amount of hospital resources and represent a challenge to hospital profitability due to the increased likelihood of 30-day readmission.

PMID: 23466971 [PubMed - in process]

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