A Population-Based Cohort Study Evaluating Outcomes and Costs for Syncope Presentations to the Emergency Department.

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A Population-Based Cohort Study Evaluating Outcomes and Costs for Syncope Presentations to the Emergency Department.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2018 Feb;4(2):265-273

Authors: Sandhu RK, Tran DT, Sheldon RS, Kaul P

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to examine outcomes and costs of patients with syncope admitted and discharged from the emergency department (ED).
BACKGROUND: ED visits for syncope are common, yet the impact on health care utilization is relatively unknown.
METHODS: A total of 51,831 consecutive patients presented to the ED with a primary diagnosis of syncope (International Classification of Diseases-9 code 780.2 and International Classification of Diseases-10 code R55) in Alberta, Canada from 2006 to 2014. Outcomes included 30-day syncope ED and hospital readmissions; 30-day and 1-year mortality; and annual inpatient, outpatient, physician, and drug costs, cumulative.
RESULTS: Of adults presenting to the ED, 6.6% were hospitalized and discharged with a primary diagnosis of syncope (Cohort 1), 8.7% were hospitalized and discharged with a primary diagnosis other than syncope (Cohort 2), and 84.7% were discharged home with a syncope diagnosis (Cohort 3). The 30-day ED revisits for syncope varied from 1.2% (Cohort 2) to 2.4% (Cohort 1) (p < 0.001), and readmission rates were <1% among cohorts. Short- and long-term mortality rates were highest for Cohort 2 and lowest for Cohort 3 (30-day mortality: Cohort 1 of 1.2%, Cohort 2 of 5.2%, Cohort 3 of 0.4%; p < 0.001) (1-year mortality: Cohort 1 of 9.2%, Cohort 2 of 17.7%, Cohort 3 of 3.0%; p < 0.001). Total cost of syncope presentations was $530.6 million (Cohort 1: $75.3 million; $29,519/patient, Cohort 2: $138.1 million; $42,042/patient, Cohort 3: $317.3 million; $9,963/patient; p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Most patients with syncope presenting to the ED were discharged and had a favorable prognosis but overall costs were high compared with patients hospitalized. Further research is needed for cost-saving strategies across all cohorts.

PMID: 29749948 [PubMed - in process]

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