Disproportionate Use of Inpatient Care by Older Adults With Kidney Stones.
OBJECTIVE: To describe variation in utilization and costs of inpatient care for patients with kidney stones, examining associations with older age. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample we examined inpatient discharges with stone diagnoses from 2007 to 2011. We examined length of stay, hospitalization cost, and postdischarge care utilization using multivariable regression to identify associations between patient/hospital characteristics and resource. RESULTS: An estimated 1.7 million hospital discharges for stone disease occurred during the study period. Median length of stay was 2.1 days with a median cost of $6300. Hospital use was substantially higher among persons ≥65 years old (older adults) as compared to those aged 18-64 (younger adults): median length of stay was 3.1 days, with 25% staying more than 5.9 days. Older adults were significantly more likely to utilize home health (odds ratio [OR] 3.6) or skilled nursing (OR 5.0) after discharge. Older adults accounted for 1 in 3 hospital discharges, 40% of costs, and half of postdischarge care utilization. They were more likely to be septic during hospitalization (OR 1.8) which doubled costs per episode, but less likely to receive surgery (OR 0.93). CONCLUSION: While historically at lower risk for kidney stones compared to younger adults, older adults utilizing inpatient care account for a disproportionate share of the economic burden of disease. Utilization is higher for older adults across multiple dimensions, including hospital costs, length of stay, and postdischarge care. These findings suggest that efforts to understand and mitigate the impact of kidney stones on this vulnerable population are required.
Cone, EB; Hammill, BG; Routh, JC; Lipkin, ME; Preminger, GM; Schmader, KE; Scales, CD
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