Clinicoecon Outcomes Res. 2023 Feb 24;15:139-149. doi: 10.2147/CEOR.S400882. eCollection 2023.
BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure (CHF) hospitalizations cost the US $35 billion annually. Two-thirds of these admissions, generally requiring </=3 days in the hospital, are solely for the purpose of diuresis, and may be avoidable.
METHODS: Among patients discharged with CHF as the principal diagnosis (PD), we compared characteristics and outcomes between those with hospital length of stay (LOS) </=3 days (short, SLOS) and >3 days (long, LLOS) in a cross-sectional multicenter analysis within the 2018 National Inpatient Sample. We applied complex survey methods to calculate nationally representative results.
RESULTS: Among 4,979,350 discharges with any CHF code, 1,177,910 (23.7%) had CHF-PD, of whom 511,555 (43.4%) had SLOS. Patients with SLOS were younger (>/=65 years: 68.3% vs 71.9%), less likely covered by Medicare (71.9% vs 75.4%), and had a lower comorbidity burden (Charlson: 3.9 [2.1] vs 4.5 [2.2) than patients with LLOS; they less frequently developed acute kidney injury (0.4% vs 2.9%) or a need for mechanical ventilation (0.7% vs 2.8%). A higher proportion with SLOS than with LLOS underwent no procedures (70.4% vs 48.4%). Mean LOS (2.2 [0.8] vs 7.7 [6.5]), direct hospital costs ($6150 [$4413]) vs $17,127 [$26,936]), and aggregate annual hospital costs $3,131,560,372 vs $11,359,002,072) were all lower with SLOS than LLOS. All comparisons reached alpha = 0.001.
CONCLUSION: Among patients admitted for CHF, nearly ½ have LOS </=3 days, and almost ¾ of them requires no inpatient procedures. A more aggressive outpatient heart failure management strategy may allow many patients to avoid hospitalizations and their potential complications and costs.
PMID:36875284 | PMC:PMC9975205 | DOI:10.2147/CEOR.S400882