Background: Readmission after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair to a different (nonindex) hospital has been shown to be associated with high mortality rates. Factors influencing this association remain unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of hospital teaching status on nonindex hospital readmission and mortality. Methods: An observational analysis of the longitudinally linked California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database was conducted from 1995 to 2009. Patients who were readmitted within 30 days after open AAA repair were included. The primary outcome measured was mortality on readmission. Results: Over the 15-year study period, 3,475 readmissions after AAA were analyzed, of which 1,020 (29.4%) were to a nonindex hospital. After adjusting for age, race, gender, insurance, comorbidities, perioperative factors, and reason for readmission, nonindex readmission for patients undergoing their initial operation at a teaching hospital did not impact mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28–2.17, P = 0.63). Nonindex readmission for patients undergoing their initial operation at a nonteaching hospital, however, significantly increased mortality (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.04–2.54, P = 0.03). Conclusions: Readmission to a different hospital is associated with a higher mortality rate for patients undergoing AAA repair at nonteaching hospitals. This effect is not seen in patients having their initial operation performed at teaching hospitals, possibly due to infrastructure at these hospitals allowing for decreased impact from fragmentation of care. In cases where triage to an index hospital for readmission is not possible, communication at a high level between the index hospital and readmission hospital is paramount.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine