Association of Insurance Type With Colorectal Surgery Outcomes and Costs at a Safety-Net Hospital: A Retrospective Observational Study

Jasmine C Tetley, Michael A Jacobs, Jeongsoo Kim, Susanne Schmidt, Bradley B Brimhall, Virginia Mika, Chen-Pin Wang, Laura S Manuel, Paul Damien, Paula K Shireman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


UNLABELLED: Association of insurance type with colorectal surgical complications, textbook outcomes (TO), and cost in a safety-net hospital (SNH).

BACKGROUND: SNHs have higher surgical complications and costs compared to low-burden hospitals. How does presentation acuity and insurance type influence colorectal surgical outcomes?

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using single-site National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (2013-2019) with cost data and risk-adjusted by frailty, preoperative serious acute conditions (PASC), case status and open versus laparoscopic to evaluate 30-day reoperations, any complication, Clavien-Dindo IV (CDIV) complications, TO, and hospitalization variable costs.

RESULTS: Cases (Private 252; Medicare 207; Medicaid/Uninsured 619) with patient mean age 55.2 years (SD = 13.4) and 53.1% male. Adjusting for frailty, open abdomen, and urgent/emergent cases, Medicaid/Uninsured patients had higher odds of presenting with PASC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22-3.52, P = 0.009) versus Private. Medicaid/Uninsured (aOR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.28-2.55, P < 0.001) patients were more likely to undergo urgent/emergent surgeries compared to Private. Medicare patients had increased odds of any and CDIV complications while Medicaid/Uninsured had increased odds of any complication, emergency department or observations stays, and readmissions versus Private. Medicare (aOR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.33-0.88, P = 0.003) and Medicaid/Uninsured (aOR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.30-0.60, P < 0.001) patients had lower odds of achieving TO versus Private. Variable cost %change increased in Medicaid/Uninsured patients to 13.94% ( P = 0.005) versus Private but was similar after adjusting for case status. Urgent/emergent cases (43.23%, P < 0.001) and any complication (78.34%, P < 0.001) increased %change hospitalization costs.

CONCLUSIONS: Decreasing the incidence of urgent/emergent colorectal surgeries, possibly by improving access to care, could have a greater impact on improving clinical outcomes and decreasing costs, especially in Medicaid/Uninsured insurance type patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e215
JournalAnnals of surgery open : perspectives of surgical history, education, and clinical approaches
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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