The impact of hospital safety-net burden on mortality and readmission after CABG surgery

J Card Surg. 2020 Sep;35(9):2232-2241. doi: 10.1111/jocs.14738. Epub 2020 Jun 29.


Background and aim: Safety-net hospitals (SNHs) serve high proportions of uninsured and Medicaid patients. Data conflict as to the impact of hospital safety-net status on perioperative complications. Our goal was to assess the effect of hospital safety-net burden on mortality and readmission following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using five State Inpatient Databases (2007-2014) for isolated CABG surgery. High, medium, and low burden hospitals were those with the highest, middle, and lowest tertiles of uninsured and Medicaid admissions, respectively. We compared patient demographics and hospital characteristics by safety-net status. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality and 30- and 90-day readmission.

Results: About 304 080 patients were included in our analysis. On univariate analysis, high burden hospitals had higher inpatient mortality (2.06% vs 1.71%; P < .001) and 30 day- (16.3% vs 15.3%; P < .001) and 90-day readmission rates (24.6% vs 23.0%; P < .001). On multivariate analysis, high-burden status was not associated with significantly increased adjusted odds of inpatient mortality (OR, 1.047; 95% CI, 0.878-1.249), or readmission at 30 (OR, 1.035; 95% CI, 0.958-1.118) or 90 days (OR, 1.040; 95% CI, 0.968-1.117).

Conclusion: SNHs do not have worse mortality and readmission outcomes following CABG, after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics. These findings are reassuring regarding the quality of cardiac surgery care provided to underinsured patient groups. More research is needed to further elucidate trends in outcomes.

Keywords: CABG; mortality and readmission; safety-net burden; socioeconomic status; surgical outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Patient Readmission*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety-net Providers*
  • United States / epidemiology