Background: Accurate estimates of inpatient cost, length of stay (LOS), and mortality are necessary for the development of economic models to estimate the cost-effectiveness of stroke-related treatments. Estimates based on data from academic institutions may not be generalizable to community hospitals. In this study, the authors estimated inpatient costs, LOS, and in-hospital mortality for patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), ischemic cerebral infarction (ICI), and TIA who were treated in community hospitals.
Methods: The authors selected patients using International Classification of Diseases-9-Clinical Modification primary diagnosis codes from the HBSI EXPLORE database. They analyzed patient-level data and inpatient costs, derived from detailed utilization data, for all patients admitted to 137 community hospitals in 1998. Multivariate statistical techniques were used to examine patient-, hospital-, and outcome-related factors associated with inpatient costs.
Results: Patients with SAH incurred the highest average cost ($23,777, n = 1,124), followed by patients with ICH ($10,241, n = 3,139), ICI ($5,837, n = 18,740), and TIA ($3,350, n = 7,861). Patient subgroups ranked in the same order for average LOS at 11.5 days for SAH, 7.5 days for ICH, 5.9 days for ICI, and 3.4 days for TIA. Almost one third of patients with SAH (29.0%) and ICH (33.1%) died during hospitalization, whereas 7.0% with ICI and 0.2% with TIA died. For each event, as patient age increased, average costs consistently decreased. Also, average costs were higher among patients treated in community teaching hospitals compared to community nonteaching hospitals for each cerebrovascular event (10 to 29%).
Conclusions: Inpatient costs, LOS, and mortality for patients with cerebrovascular disease are dependent on patient and hospital characteristics.