Differences in Outcomes and Health Care Resource Utilization After Surgical Intervention for Metastatic Spinal Column Tumor in Safety-Net Hospitals : Spine

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Health Services Research

Differences in Outcomes and Health Care Resource Utilization After Surgical Intervention for Metastatic Spinal Column Tumor in Safety-Net Hospitals

Elsamadicy, Aladine A. MDa; Koo, Andrew B. MDa; David, Wyatt B. MSb; Reeves, Benjamin C. BSa; Sherman, Josiah J.Z. BSa; Craft, Samuel MSa; Hersh, Andrew M. ABc; Duvall, Julia BSd; Lo, Sheng-Fu Larry MD, MHSe; Shin, John H. MDd; Mendel, Ehud MD, MBAa; Sciubba, Daniel M. MD, MBAc,e

Author Information
Spine 48(11):p 800-809, June 1, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004643


Study Design. 

Observational cohort study.


The aim of this study was to investigate the association between safety-net hospital (SNH) status and hospital length of stay (LOS), cost, and discharge disposition in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spinal column tumors.

Summary of Background Data. 

SNHs serve a high proportion of Medicaid and uninsured patients. However, few studies have assessed the effects of SNH status on outcomes after surgery for metastatic spinal column tumors.

Patients and Methods. 

This study was performed using the 2016-2019 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. All adult patients undergoing metastatic spinal column tumor surgeries, identified using ICD-10-CM coding, were stratified by SNH status, defined as hospitals in the top quartile of Medicaid/uninsured coverage burden. Hospital characteristics, demographics, comorbidities, intraoperative variables, postoperative complications, and outcomes were assessed. Multivariable analyses identified independent predictors of prolonged LOS (>75th percentile of cohort), nonroutine discharge, and increased cost (>75th percentile of cohort).


Of the 11,505 study patients, 24.0% (n = 2760) were treated at an SNH. Patients treated at SNHs were more likely to be Black-identifying, male, and lower income quartile. A significantly greater proportion of patients in the non-SNH (N-SNH) cohort experienced any postoperative complication [SNH: 965 (35.0%) vs. N-SNH: 3535 (40.4%), P = 0.021]. SNH patients had significantly longer LOS (SNH: 12.3 ± 11.3 d vs. N-SNH: 10.1 ± 9.5 d, P < 0.001), yet mean total costs (SNH: $58,804 ± 39,088 vs. N-SNH: $54,569 ± 36,781, P = 0.055) and nonroutine discharge rates [SNH: 1330 (48.2%) vs. N-SNH: 4230 (48.4%), P = 0.715) were similar. On multivariable analysis, SNH status was significantly associated with extended LOS [odds ratio (OR): 1.41, P = 0.009], but not nonroutine discharge disposition (OR: 0.97, P = 0.773) or increased cost (OR: 0.93, P = 0.655).


Our study suggests that SNHs and N-SNHs provide largely similar care for patients undergoing metastatic spinal tumor surgeries. Patients treated at SNHs may have an increased risk of prolonged hospitalizations, but comorbidities and complications likely contribute greater to adverse outcomes than SNH status alone.

Level of Evidence. 


© 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid