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Access to Posthospitalization Acute Care Facilities is Associated with Payer Status for Open Abdominal Aortic Repair and Open Lower Extremity Revascularization in the Vascular Quality Initiative



Uninsured patients may not have access to postacute care facilities that play an important role in clinical recovery, and functional outcomes after vascular surgery. We sought to determine whether discharge disposition is associated with insurance status.


We retrospectively reviewed data from the Vascular Quality Initiative® for patients who underwent open abdominal aortic repair, infrainguinal bypass, or suprainguinal bypass (SB) between January 2012 and July 2015. Mixed-effects logistic regression analysis with clustering at the surgeon and facility level was used to calculate 95% confidence intervals for discharge disposition to home, skilled nursing facility (SNF) or rehabilitation (Rehab) facility by payer status (Medicare, Medicaid, Commercial, Military/Veterans Affairs, Non-US Insurance, or Self-pay), with adjustment for patient, operative, and postoperative characteristics.


The study cohort comprised 18,478 procedures (open abdominal aortic repair = 2,817; infrainguinal bypass = 11,572; suprainguinal bypass = 4,089) after we excluded procedures with missing data and in-hospital deaths. Twenty-four percent of the cohort was discharged to an SNF or Rehab site. On univariate analysis, the odds ratio (OR) of discharge home was 4.38 (95% CI: 3.33-5.77) for self-pay as compared to Medicare. On mixed-effects analysis, the adjusted odds of discharge home for self-pay as compared to Medicare remained high (OR = 3.09; 95% CI: 2.23-4.26), after adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, preoperative ambulatory status, number of comorbidities, case urgency, total operative time, presence of a postoperative complication, procedure type, and length of stay. Adjusted odds for discharge to SNF (OR = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.15-0.46) and Rehab (OR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.35-0.72) were lowest for self-pay status.


Access to postacute care facilities is associated with insurance status. Self-pay (uninsured) patients are less likely to have access to discharge services that may aid clinical recovery, and functional outcomes after major vascular surgery.

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