OBJECTIVE: Reducing readmissions is an important target for improving patient care and enhancing health care quality and cost-effectiveness. The aim of this study was to assess rates, risk factors, and indications of 30-day readmission after open aortic repair (OAR) and endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the Premier Healthcare Database from 2009 to 2015 was performed. Indications for readmission after the index procedure, risk factors, and outcomes of the index admission and rehospitalization were evaluated. Multivariate logistic models were used to assess the association between 30-day readmission and different patient and hospital factors.
RESULTS: A total of 33,332 AAA repair procedures were identified: 27,483 (82.5%) EVAR and 5849 (17.5%) OAR. The overall rate of 30-day readmission was 8.1%, and it was greater after OAR (12.9% vs 7.1% in EVAR; P < .001). In general, the most common specific readmission diagnoses were infectious complications (16.1%), followed by respiratory and cardiac complications (11.8% and 11.3%, respectively). After multivariate adjustment, OAR was associated with higher 30-day readmission compared with EVAR (adjusted odds ratio, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-1.2; P = .04). Other risk factors of 30-day readmission included female gender, emergency and urgent procedures, certain patient comorbidities (dyslipidemia, congestive heart failure, history of transient ischemic attack, previous cardiac surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, chronic kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, and history of malignant disease), and hemorrhage/shock/bleeding occurring during the index admission as well as nonhome discharge. Readmitted patients had an overall in-hospital mortality of 3.6% and paid a median rehospitalization cost of $7757.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that around 8.1% of patients undergoing infrarenal AAA repair were readmitted within 30 days. Because many readmissions are unrelated to the index procedure or caused by factors that are nonmodifiable or nonidentifiable at discharge, efforts should focus on discharge planning and improving the decision process regarding discharge destination as well as postdischarge coordination of care for high-risk patients.