Academic Hospitals Discharge Fewer Patients to Postacute Care Facilities After Colorectal Resection

Dis Colon Rectum. 2019 Apr;62(4):483-490. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001308.


Background: Discharge to a nonhome destination (ie, skilled nursing facility, subacute rehabilitation, or long-term care facility) after surgery is associated with increased mortality and higher costs and is less desirable to patients than discharge to home.

Objective: We sought to identify modifiable hospital-level factors that may reduce rates of nonhome discharge after colorectal resection.

Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing colorectal resection in the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (July 2012 to June 2015). Patient- and hospital-level characteristics were tested for association with nonhome discharge patterns.

Settings: Patients were identified using prospectively collected data from the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, a statewide collaborative encompassing 63 community, academic, and tertiary hospitals.

Patients: Patients undergoing colon and rectal resections were included.

Main outcome measure: The main outcome measure was hospital use patterns of nonhome discharge.

Results: Of the 9603 patients identified, 1104 (11.5%) were discharged to a nonhome destination. After adjustments for patient factors associated with nonhome discharge, we identified variability in hospital use patterns for nonhome discharge. Designation as a low utilizer hospital was associated with affiliation with a medical school (p = 0.020) and high outpatient volume (p = 0.028). After adjustments for all hospital factors, only academic affiliation maintained a statistically significant relationship (OR = 4.94; p = 0.045).

Limitations: This study had a retrospective cohort design with short-term follow-up of sampled cases. Additionally, by performing our analysis on the hospital level, there is a decreased sample size.

Conclusions: This population-based study shows that there is significant variation in hospital practices for nonhome discharge. Specifically, hospitals affiliated with a medical school are less likely to discharge patients to a facility, even after adjustment for patient and procedural risk factors. This study raises the concern that there may be overuse of subacute facility discharge in certain hospitals, and additional study is warranted. See Video Abstract at

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colectomy* / adverse effects
  • Colectomy* / methods
  • Colectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Hospitals, High-Volume / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Teaching / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Overuse
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge* / standards
  • Patient Discharge* / statistics & numerical data
  • Proctectomy* / adverse effects
  • Proctectomy* / methods
  • Proctectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Subacute Care* / methods
  • Subacute Care* / organization & administration
  • Subacute Care* / standards
  • Tertiary Care Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology