Objective: The transfer from pediatric to adult care for young adults is a vulnerable period. Our objectives were to quantify the time between the final pediatric and the first adult visit and to evaluate unscheduled utilization in care and progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of pediatric patients transferring to a large adult rheumatology clinic. Outcomes included time to first completed adult visit, unscheduled health care utilization (hospitalizations and emergency department [ED] visits), and progression to ESRD or death. Multivariable regression models assessed variables predictive of outcomes of interest. Results: A total of 141 pediatric patients who transferred care were identified: 77% female, 65% Hispanic, and 60% with connective tissue diseases (CTDs). The mean time between final pediatric and first completed adult rheumatology visit was 221 days (range 0–1,207 days). In regression modeling, we found that continued insurance coverage, younger age at referral, and referral from a pediatric rheumatologist were predictive of shorter time to completed adult visit (P < 0.005). Factors associated with hospitalizations and ED visits included CTD diagnosis and Black race (odds ratio [OR] 8.54 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.84–39.58] and 3.04 [95% CI 1.02–9.12] for hospitalizations and OR 3.6 [95% CI 1.59–8.14] and 6.0 [95% CI 1.60–22.69] for ED visits, respectively). ESRD or death occurred among 15% of patients with a CTD. Conclusion: In pediatric patients transferring to an adult rheumatology clinic, continued insurance coverage and referral from a pediatric rheumatologist decreased delays in attending an adult visit; CTD and Black race were associated with high rates of unscheduled health care utilization.
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