Objective: The objective of this study was to determine differences in mortality after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair based on insurance type.
Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data from all-payer patients in nonpsychiatric hospitals in New York, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, and California from January 2007 to December 2014 (excluding California, ending December 2011) were extracted from the State Inpatient Databases, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. There were 90,102 patients ≥18 years old with available insurance data who underwent open AAA repair or endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification procedure codes 3844, 3925, and 3971. EVAR patients were identified using the procedure code 3971, and the remainder of cases were categorized as open. Patients were divided into cohorts by insurance type as Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured (self-pay/no charge), other, or private insurance. Patients were further stratified for subgroup analyses by procedure type. Unadjusted rates of in-hospital mortality, the primary outcome, as well as secondary outcomes, such as surgical urgency, 30-day and 90-day readmissions, length of stay, total charges, and postoperative complications, were examined by insurance type. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for in-hospital mortality were calculated using multivariate logistic regression models fitted to the data. The multivariate models included patient-, surgical-, and hospital-specific factors with bivariate baseline testing suggestive of association with insurance status in addition to variables that were selected a priori.
Results: Medicaid and uninsured patients had the highest rates of mortality relative to private insurance beneficiaries in all cohorts. Medicaid patients incurred a 47% increase in the odds of mortality, the highest among the insured, after all AAA repairs (OR, 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-1.76), whereas uninsured patients experienced a 102% increase in the odds of mortality (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.54-2.67). Subgroup analyses for open AAA repair and EVAR corroborated that Medicaid insurance (open repair OR, 1.37 [95% CI, 1.14-1.64]; EVAR OR, 2.06 [95% CI, 1.40-3.04]) and uninsured status (open repair OR, 1.85 [95% CI, 1.35-2.54]; EVAR OR, 2.96 [95% CI, 1.82-4.81]) were associated with the highest odds of mortality after both procedures separately.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that Medicaid insurance and uninsured status are associated with higher unadjusted rates and adjusted ORs for in-hospital mortality after AAA repair relative to private insurance status. Primary payer status therefore serves as an independent predictor of the risk of death subsequent to AAA surgical interventions.
Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair; Administrative database research; Health care disparities; Health insurance; Primary payer status.
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