To define the association between hospital occupancy rate and postoperative outcomes among patients undergoing hepatopancreatic (HP) resection.
Summary Background Data:
Previous studies have sought to identify hospital-level characteristics associated with optimal surgical outcomes and decreased expenditures. The present study utilized a novel hospital quality metric coined “occupancy rate” based on publicly available data to assess differences in postoperative outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing HP procedures.
Medicare beneficiaries who underwent an elective HP surgery between 2013 and 2017 were identified. Occupancy rate was calculated and hospitals were categorized into quartiles. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized to assess the association between occupancy rate and clinical outcomes.
Among 33,866 patients, the majority underwent a pancreatic resection (58.5%; n = 19,827), were male (88.4%; n = 7,488), or white (88.4%; n = 29,950); median age was 72 years [interquartile range (IQR): 68–77] and median Charleston Comorbidity Index was 3 (IQR 2–8). Hospitals were categorized into quartiles based on hospital occupancy rate (cutoffs: 48.1%, 59.4%, 68.2%). Most patients underwent an HP operation at a hospital with an above average occupancy rate (n = 20,865, 61.6%), whereas only a small subset of patients had an HP procedure at a low occupancy rate hospital (n = 1,218, 3.6%). On multivariable analysis, low hospital occupancy rate was associated with increased odds of a complication [(OR) 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18–1.55) and 30-day mortality (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.27–1.97). Even among only high-volume HP hospitals, patients operated on at hospitals that had a low occupancy rate were at markedly higher risk of complications (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.03–1.97), as well as 30 day morality (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.27–3.83).
Among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing an elective HP resection, more than 1 in 4 hospitals performing HP surgeries utilized less than half of their beds on average. There was a monotonic relationship between hospital occupancy rate and the odds ofexperiencing a complication, as well as 30-day mortality, independent of other hospital level characteristics including procedural volume.