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Costs and Readmissions Associated with Type A Aortic Dissections at High- and Low-Volume Centers.

Heart Surgery Forum 2023 December 14
BACKGROUND: Costs and readmissions associated with type A aortic dissection repairs are not well understood. We investigated statewide readmissions, costs, and outcomes associated with the surgical management of type A aortic dissection repairs at low- and high-volume centers.

METHODS: We identified all adult type A aortic dissection patients who underwent operative repair in the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission's database (2012-2020). Hospitals were stratified into high- (top quartile of total repairs) or low-volume centers.

RESULTS: Of the 249 patients included, 193 (77.5%) were treated at a high-volume center. Patients treated at high- and low-volume centers had no differences in age, sex, race, primary payer, or severity (all p > 0.5). High- compared to low-volume centers had a greater proportion of patients transferred in (71.5% vs. 17.9%, p < 0.001). High-volume centers also had longer lengths of stay (12 vs. 8 days, p < 0.001), similar inpatient mortality (13.0% vs. 16.1%, p = 0.6), and similar proportion of patients readmitted (54.9% vs. 51.8%, p = 0.7). High-volume centers had greater index admission costs ($114,859 vs. $72,090, p < 0.001) and similar readmission costs ($48,367 vs. $42,204, p = 0.5). At high-volume centers, transferred patients compared to direct admissions had greater severity of illness (p = 0.05), similar mortality (p = 0.53), and greater lengths of stay (p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: High-volume centers had a greater number of patients transferred from other institutions compared to low-volume centers. High-volume centers were associated with increased index admission resource utilization, with transfer patients having higher illness severity and greater resource utilization, yet similar mortality, compared to direct admission patients.

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