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Disparities in Utilization of Ambulatory Cholecystectomy: Results From Three States.

Janeway MG, Sanchez SE, Rosen AK, Patts G, Allee LC, Lasser KE, Dechert TA. Disparities in Utilization of Ambulatory Cholecystectomy: Results From Three States. The Journal of surgical research. 2021 Oct 1; 266:373-382.

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BACKGROUND: Inpatient cholecystectomy is associated with higher cost and morbidity relative to ambulatory cholecystectomy, yet the latter may be underutilized by minority and underinsured patients. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of race, income, and insurance status on receipt of and outcomes following ambulatory cholecystectomy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study of patients 18-89 undergoing cholecystectomy for benign indications in Florida, Iowa, and New York, 2011-2014 using administrative databases. The primary outcome of interest was odds of having ambulatory cholecystectomy; secondary outcomes included intraoperative and postoperative complications, and 30-day unplanned admissions following ambulatory cholecystectomy. RESULTS: Among 321,335 cholecystectomies, 190,734 (59.4%) were ambulatory and 130,601 (40.6%) were inpatient. Adjusting for age, sex, insurance, income, residential location, and comorbidities, the odds of undergoing ambulatory versus inpatient cholecystectomy were significantly lower in black (aOR  =  0.71, 95% CI [0.69, 0.73], P < 0.001) and Hispanic (aOR  =  0.71, 95% CI [0.69, 0.72], P < 0.001) patients compared to white patients, and significantly lower in Medicare (aOR  =  0.77, 95% CI [0.75, 0.80] P < 0.001), Medicaid (aOR  =  0.56, 95% CI [0.54, 0.57], P < 0.001) and uninsured/self-pay (aOR  =  0.28, 95% CI [0.27, 0.28], P < 0.001) patients relative to privately insured patients. Patients with Medicaid and those classified as self-pay/uninsured had higher odds of postoperative complications and unplanned admission as did patients with Medicare compared to privately insured individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Racial and ethnic minorities and the underinsured have a higher likelihood of receiving inpatient as compared to ambulatory cholecystectomy. The higher incidence of postoperative complications in these patients may be associated with unequal access to ambulatory surgery.

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