The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has grown rapidly in recent years. We sought to describe the rate of ECMO use in the United States, regional variation in ECMO use, the hospitals performing ECMO, and the primary payers for ECMO patients. Detailed data were obtained using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUPnet) summaries of State Inpatient Databases from 34 participating states for the years 2011–2014. The ECMO rates over time were modeled, overall and within subcategories of age group, bed size, hospital ownership, teaching status, and payer type. During the study period, the overall rate of ECMO use increased from 1.06 (1.01, 1.12) to 1.77 (1.72, 1.82) cases per 100,000 persons per year (p = 0.005). The rate of ECMO use varied significantly by region. Most ECMO patients are cared for at large hospitals, and at private, not-for-profit hospitals with teaching designation. The most common payer was private insurance; a minority of patient were uninsured. The use of ECMO increased significantly during the study period, but regional variation in the rate of ECMO use suggests that this technology is not being uniformly applied. Further research is warranted to determine why differences in ECMO use persist and what impact they have on patient outcomes.
From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
†Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia
‡Department of Anesthesiology, Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, Georgia.
Submitted for consideration June 2018; accepted for publication in revised form August 2018.
Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report. All work was performed at Emory University and the Atlanta VA Medical Center using institutional funds.
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Correspondence: Michael Stentz, Department of Anesthesiology, 3B South, Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.