Quality of Care and Outcomes Among Patients Hospitalized for Heart Failure in Rural vs Urban US Hospitals: The Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Registry

Link to article at PubMed

JAMA Cardiol. 2023 Feb 20. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2023.0241. Online ahead of print.


IMPORTANCE: Prior studies have suggested patients with heart failure (HF) from rural areas have worse clinical outcomes. Contemporary differences between rural and urban hospitals in quality of care and clinical outcomes for patients hospitalized for HF remain poorly understood.

OBJECTIVE: To assess quality of care and clinical outcomes for US patients hospitalized for HF at rural vs urban hospitals.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective cohort study analyzed 774 419 patients hospitalized for HF across 569 sites in the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) registry between January 1, 2014, and September 30, 2021. Postdischarge outcomes were assessed in a subset of 161 996 patients linked to Medicare claims. Data were analyzed from August 2022 to January 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: GWTG-HF quality measures, in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and 30-day mortality and readmission outcomes.

RESULTS: This study included 19 832 patients (2.6%) and 754 587 patients (97.4%) hospitalized at 49 rural hospitals (8.6%) and 520 urban hospitals (91.4%), respectively. Of 774 419 included patients, 366 161 (47.3%) were female, and the median (IQR) age was 73 (62-83) years. Compared with patients at urban hospitals, patients at rural hospitals were older (median [IQR] age, 74 [64-84] years vs 73 [61-83] years; standardized difference, 10.63) and more likely to be non-Hispanic White (14 572 [73.5%] vs 498 950 [66.1%]; standardized difference, 34.47). In adjusted models, patients at rural hospitals were less likely to be prescribed cardiac resynchronization therapy (adjusted risk difference [aRD], -13.5%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.44; 95% CI, 0.22-0.92), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (aRD, -3.7%; aOR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53-0.96), and an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (aRD, -5.0%; aOR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.47-0.98) at discharge. In-hospital mortality was similar between rural and urban hospitals (460 of 19 832 [2.3%] vs 20 529 of 754 587 [2.7%]; aOR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.70-1.07). Patients at rural hospitals were less likely to have a length of stay of 4 or more days (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.67-0.85). Among Medicare beneficiaries, there were no significant differences between rural and urban hospitals in 30-day HF readmission (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.03; 95% CI, 0.90-1.19), all-cause readmission (aHR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.91-1.04), and all-cause mortality (aHR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.91-1.21).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this large contemporary cohort of US patients hospitalized for HF, care at rural hospitals was independently associated with lower use of some guideline-recommended therapies at discharge and shorter length of stay. In-hospital mortality and 30-day postdischarge outcomes were similar at rural and urban hospitals.

PMID:36806447 | DOI:10.1001/jamacardio.2023.0241

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