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Skolarus TA, Jacobs BL, Schroeck FR, He C, Helfand AM, Helm J, Hu M, Lavieri M, Hollenbeck BK. Understanding hospital readmission intensity after radical cystectomy. The Journal of urology. 2015 May 1; 193(5):1500-6.
PURPOSE: Hospital readmissions after radical cystectomy vary with respect to intensity in terms of impact on patients and health care systems. Therefore, we conducted a population based study to examine factors associated with increasing readmission intensity after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results)-Medicare data we identified 1,782 patients who underwent radical cystectomy from 2003 to 2009. We defined readmission intensity in terms of length of stay (days) divided into quartiles of less than 3 (lowest), 3 to 4, 5 to 7 and more than 7 (highest). We used logistic regression to examine factors associated with readmission intensity. RESULTS: More than half of the patients with the highest intensity readmissions were readmitted within the first week and 77% were readmitted within 2 weeks of discharge. Patients with the highest intensity readmissions were similar in age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, pathological stage, comorbidity, neoadjuvant chemotherapy use and urinary diversion type compared to patients with the lowest intensity readmissions. After multivariable adjustment, complications during the index cystectomy admission (p < 0.001), readmission week (p = 0.04), and the interaction between index length of stay and discharge to a skilled nursing facility (p = 0.04) were associated with the highest readmission intensity. CONCLUSIONS: Readmission intensity differs widely after discharge following radical cystectomy. As postoperative efforts to minimize the readmission burden increase, a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the highest intensity readmissions will help direct limited resources (eg telephone calls, office visits) toward high yield areas.