Readmissions after GI bleeds


Clinical question: What is the rate of hospital readmission within 30 days of nonvariceal upper GI hemorrhage, and what are its effects on mortality, morbidity, and health care use in the United States?

Background: Nonvariceal upper GI hemorrhage is the most common GI emergency that leads to hospital admission (approximately 300,000 admissions/year in the United States). Because of the advances in endoscopic therapy and overall medical care, associated in-hospital mortality has been steadily decreasing. As a result of Medicare and Medicaid shifts toward an alternative payment model, quantifying hospital readmission rate after an episode of nonvariceal upper GI hemorrhage and measuring its effects on patient outcomes and resource use have become a key step in both improving treatment outcomes and health care reimbursement.

Study design: Retrospective study.

Setting: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Readmission Database for the year 2014.

Synopsis: The study collected data on hospital readmissions for 203,220 adults who were hospitalized for urgent nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage and discharged. The primary outcome was rate of all-cause readmission within 30 days of discharge. Secondary outcomes were reasons for readmission, readmission mortality rate, morbidity (shock and prolonged mechanical ventilation), and resource use (length of stay and total hospitalization costs and charges).

The rate of readmission was determined to be 13%, with only 18% caused by recurrent nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The rate of death among readmissions was higher than that among index admissions, and a higher proportion of readmitted patients had morbidities requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. The total economic in-hospital burden was $30.3 million in costs and $108 million in charges over the span of readmission-associated 133,368 hospital days. Independent predictors of readmission were having Medicaid insurance, having a higher comorbidity score, having a lower income, residence in a metropolitan area, hemorrhagic shock, and longer stays in the hospital.

Bottom line: Readmissions within 30 days of discharge for upper GI hemorrhage are associated with higher morbidity and mortality and lead to higher resource use.

Citation: Abougergi M et al. Thirty-day readmission among patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage and effects on outcomes. Gastroenterology. 2018 Jul;155(1):38-46.

Dr. White is a hospitalist in the division of hospital medicine in the department of medicine at Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Ill.

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