Study Shows Medicaid Patients Had Longer Hospital Stays for Heart Failure

Released: 2/20/2014 9:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: National Association for Healthcare Quality
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Citations Journal for Healthcare Quality

Newswise — CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2014 – Heart failure accounts for 6.5 million hospital days a year, and a new study reported in the Journal for Healthcare Quality showed that Medicaid patients and those with comorbid illnesses have longer lengths of stay for treatment of heart failure. The Journal of Healthcare Quality is the peer-reviewed publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ, www.nahq.org).

Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements will be reduced under provisions of the Affordable Care Act for hospitalized conditions such as heart failure, so it is imperative for hospitals to consider how cost reductions may influence the quality of care for vulnerable populations. Researchers at Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina analyzed heart failure length of stay data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort from 1987 to 2005. They evaluated 1,300 patients with incident hospitalized heart failure and investigated the association of socioeconomic status with length of stay.

Results showed that patients living in lower socioeconomic areas did not have longer lengths of stay than patients with higher socioeconomic status. Instead, the study showed that Medicaid patients and individuals with comorbid illnesses had longer stays than other heart-failure patients. The authors concluded that receipt of Medicaid and presence of comorbid illnesses are associated with a greater burden of illness, which usually dictates longer hospital stays to assure patients are well enough for discharge.

About the Journal for Healthcare Quality
The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ) is the first choice for creative and scientific solutions in the pursuit of healthcare quality. JHQ is peer reviewed and published six times a year. JHQ publishes scholarly articles targeted to leaders of all healthcare settings, leveraging applied research and producing practical, timely, and impactful evidence in healthcare system transformation covering topics in: quality improvement, patient safety, performance measurement, best practices in clinical and operational processes, innovation, leadership, information technology, spreading improvement, sustaining improvement, cost reduction, and payment reform.

About NAHQ
Founded in 1976 and covering a full spectrum of healthcare specialties, the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) is an essential and interactive resource for quality and patient safety professionals worldwide. NAHQ’s vision is to realize the promise of healthcare improvement through innovative practices in quality and patient safety.

NAHQ’s 12,000-plus members and certificants benefit from cutting edge education and NAHQ’s unique collective body of knowledge, as well as opportunities to learn from a diverse group of professionals. These resources help assure success for implementing improvements in quality outcomes and patient safety, navigating the changing healthcare landscape, and serving as the voice of quality. Visit www.nahq.org to learn more.

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