News: Cost of sepsis readmissions estimated at more than $16,000 per patient

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 12

The estimated annual cost of sepsis readmissions is more than half the annual cost of all Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) conditions combined—acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia, according to a new study in CHEST Journal.

Researchers found the annual cost of sepsis readmissions amounted to more than $3.5 billion, HealthLeaders Media reported. The four HRRP conditions, in comparison, cost $7 billion.

“This accounts for a significant under-recognition burden on the U.S. healthcare system,” the researchers wrote.

The economic effect of sepsis on a national scale is significant, the researchers found. The study examined more than one million index admissions and found that:

  • The annual sepsis cost estimated at more than $23.3 billion.
  • The mean cost per sepsis readmission within 30 days of discharge was $16,852.
  • 30-day readmissions after an index admission for sepsis accounted for 13% of all sepsis-related hospitalization costs.

For patients with an index sepsis admission, 17.5% were readmitted within 30 days, the study found. The researchers identified the following predictors of sepsis readmissions:

  • Infection was the most common cause for 30-day readmissions, accounting for 42.16% of readmitted patients. Sepsis accounted for 22.86% of readmissions.
  • The other most common causes for sepsis readmissions were gastrointestinal (9.60%), cardiovascular (8.73%), pulmonary (7.82%), and renal (4.99%) conditions.

“Our findings serve to create awareness among clinicians, administrators, and policy makers alike regarding patient populations that are vulnerable to sepsis readmission and thus increased utilization of resources,” the researchers wrote. “Although it may be necessary to readmit some patients, the striking rate of readmission demands efforts to further clarify the determinants of readmission and develop strategies in terms of quality of care and care transitions to prevent these adverse outcomes.”

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in HealthLeaders Media. To read the full study in CHEST Journal, click here. To read about another recent study on the costs of sepsis admissions, click here. To read about the potential sepsis code changes discussed at the latest Coordination & Maintenance Committee meeting, click here.

Found in Categories: 
News, Quality