Hospital Outcomes in Uninsured Patients With Disease and Disorders of Nervous System: A National Cohort Study During a Decade in the United States

Cureus. 2021 Mar 4;13(3):e13702. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13702.


Objectives Health insurance is associated with better outcomes in the admitted patient population, even after adjusting for other factors such as race and socioeconomic status. However, the literature is limited on the relationship between insurance status and hospital outcomes in patients hospitalized with the disease of nervous system. Methods This cross-sectional study used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database to achieve the results. All Major Diagnostic Category (MDC) codes from patients discharged for disease and disorders of nervous system between the years 2005 to 2014 were queried and analyzed for the impact of lack of insurance on patient outcome. Results Among 4,737,999 discharges, 5.6% had no insurance. The hospital mortality rate among uninsured and insured patients was 4.1% and 3.7%, respectively (P<0.001). In the multivariate analysis, hospital mortality of uninsured patients was higher in the elderly (aOR: 4.74[CI:4.52-4.97], P<0.001), those with comorbidities (aOR: 2.23[CI:2.18-2.27], P<0.001), Asians (aOR: 1.16[CI:1.12-1.20]. P<0.001), in rural areas (aOR: 1.44[ 95%CI:1.41-1.48], P<0.001) and those in the lowest household income quartile (aOR: 1.03[CI:1.01-1.05], P<0.001). The average length of stay (LOS) was shorter for the uninsured (4.79±8.26 vs 4.96±7.55 days, P<0.001). Conclusions The findings suggest that lack of health insurance is correlated with hospital mortality in patients hospitalized with disease and disorders of nervous system, with an increased disparity in vulnerable populations.

Keywords: health insurance; healthcare insurance; insurance coverage; medicare data; mortality; nervous system diseases; uninsured patients.