Post-Acute Care Utilization and Episode of Care Payments Following Common Elective Operations.

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To describe post-acute care (PAC) utilization and associated payments for patients undergoing common elective procedures.Utilization and costs of PAC are well described for benchmarked conditions and operations but remain understudied for common elective procedures.Cross-sectional study of adult patients in a statewide administrative claims database undergoing elective cholecystectomy, ventral or incisional hernia repair (VIHR), and groin hernia repair from 2012-2019. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the odds of PAC utilization, and multivariable linear regression to determine the association of 90-day episode of care payments and PAC utilization.Among 34,717 patients undergoing elective cholecystectomy, 0.7% utilized PAC resulting in significantly higher payments ($19,047 vs $7,830, p < 0.001). Among 29,826 patients undergoing VIHR, 1.7% utilized PAC resulting in significantly higher payments ($19,766 vs $9,439, p < 0.001). Among 37,006 patients undergoing groin hernia repair, 0.3% utilized PAC services resulting in significantly higher payments ($14,886 vs $8,062, p < 0.001). We found both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors associated with PAC utilization. Morbid obesity was associated with PAC utilization following VIHR (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.29-2.02, p < 0.001). Male sex was associated with lower odds of PAC utilization for VIHR (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.35-0.51, p < 0.001) and groin hernia repair (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.39-0.98, p = 0.039).We found both modifiable (e.g. obesity) and non-modifiable (e.g. female sex) patient factors that were associated with PAC. Optimizing patients to reduce PAC utilization requires an understanding of patient risk factors as well as systems and processes to address these factors.

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Authors: Anne P Ehlers, Ryan Howard, Yen-Ling Lai, Jennifer F Waljee, Lia D Delaney, Hari Nathan, Justin B Dimick, Dana A Telem