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Moyo P, Eliot M, Shah A, Goodyear K, Jutkowitz E, Thomas K, Zullo AR. Discharge locations after hospitalizations involving opioid use disorder among medicare beneficiaries. Addiction science & clinical practice. 2022 Oct 8; 17(1):57.
BACKGROUND: Hospitalizations involving opioid use disorder (OUD) have been increasing among Medicare beneficiaries of all ages. With rising OUD-related acute care use comes the need to understand where post-acute care is provided and the capacities for OUD treatment in those settings. Our objective was to describe hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries with OUD, their post-acute care locations, and all-cause mortality and readmissions stratified by post-acute care location. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of acute hospitalizations using 2016-2018 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) files linked to Medicare enrollment data and the Residential History File (RHF) for 100% of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. The RHF which provides a person-level chronological history of health service utilization and locations of care was used to identify hospital discharge locations. We used ICD-10 codes for opioid dependence or "abuse" to identify OUD diagnoses from the MedPAR file. We conducted logistic regression to identify factors associated with discharge to an institutional setting versus home adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and hospital stay characteristics. RESULTS: Our analysis included 459,763 hospitalized patients with OUD. Of these, patients aged? < 65 years and those dually enrolled in Medicaid comprised the majority (59.1%). OUD and opioid overdose were primary diagnoses in 14.3% and 6.2% of analyzed hospitalizations, respectively. We found that 70.3% of hospitalized patients with OUD were discharged home, 15.8% to a skilled nursing facility (SNF), 9.6% to a non-SNF institutional facility, 2.5% home with home health services, and 1.8% died in-hospital. Within 30 days of hospital discharge, rates of readmissions and mortality were 29.7% and 3.9%; respectively, with wide variation across post-acute locations. Factors associated with greater odds of discharge to institutional settings were older age, female sex, non-Hispanic White race and ethnicity, dual enrollment, longer hospital stay, more comorbidities, intensive care use, surgery, and primary diagnoses including opioid or other drug overdoses, fractures, and septicemia. CONCLUSIONS: More than one-quarter (25.8%) of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries with OUD received post-acute care in a setting other than home. High rates and wide variation in all-cause readmissions and mortality within 30 days post-discharge emphasize the need for improved post-acute care for people with OUD.