Presentation Acuity and Surgical Outcomes for Patients with Health Insurance Living in Highly Deprived Neighborhoods

Susanne Schmidt, Michael A. Jacobs, Jeongsoo Kim, Daniel E. Hall, Karyn B. Stitzenberg, Lillian S. Kao, Bradley B. Brimhall, Chen Pin Wang, Laura S. Manuel, Hoah Der Su, Jonathan C. Silverstein, Paula K. Shireman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Importance: Insurance coverage expansion has been proposed as a solution to improving health disparities, but insurance expansion alone may be insufficient to alleviate care access barriers. Objective: To assess the association of Area Deprivation Index (ADI) with postsurgical textbook outcomes (TO) and presentation acuity for individuals with private insurance or Medicare. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (2013-2019) merged with electronic health record data from 3 academic health care systems. Data were analyzed from June 2022 to August 2023. Exposure: Living in a neighborhood with an ADI greater than 85. Main Outcomes and Measures: TO, defined as absence of unplanned reoperations, Clavien-Dindo grade 4 complications, mortality, emergency department visits/observation stays, and readmissions, and presentation acuity, defined as having preoperative acute serious conditions (PASC) and urgent or emergent cases. Results: Among a cohort of 29924 patients, the mean (SD) age was 60.6 (15.6) years; 16424 (54.9%) were female, and 13500 (45.1) were male. A total of 14306 patients had private insurance and 15618 had Medicare. Patients in highly deprived neighborhoods (5536 patients [18.5%]), with an ADI greater than 85, had lower/worse odds of TO in both the private insurance group (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.87; 95% CI, 0.76-0.99; P =.04) and Medicare group (aOR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-1.00; P =.04) and higher odds of PASC and urgent or emergent cases. The association of ADIs greater than 85 with TO lost significance after adjusting for PASC and urgent/emergent cases. Differences in the probability of TO between the lowest-risk (ADI ≤85, no PASC, and elective surgery) and highest-risk (ADI >85, PASC, and urgent/emergent surgery) scenarios stratified by frailty were highest for very frail patients (Risk Analysis Index ≥40) with differences of 40.2% and 43.1% for those with private insurance and Medicare, respectively. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that patients living in highly deprived neighborhoods had lower/worse odds of TO and higher presentation acuity despite having private insurance or Medicare. These findings suggest that insurance coverage expansion alone is insufficient to overcome health care disparities, possibly due to persistent barriers to preventive care and other complex causes of health inequities..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Surgery
Volume159
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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