One-Year Health Care Utilization and Recurrence After Incisional Hernia Repair in the United States: A Population-Based Study Using the Nationwide Readmission Database.

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BACKGROUND: Most data on health care utilization after incisional hernia (IH) repair are limited to 30-days and are not nationally representative. We sought to describe nationwide 1-year readmission burden after IH repair (IHR).

METHODS: Patients undergoing elective IHR discharged alive were identified using the 2010-2014 Nationwide Readmission Database. Transfers and incomplete follow-up were excluded. Descriptive statistics were used to describe rates of 1-year readmission, IH recurrence, and bowel obstruction. Cox regression allowed identification of factors associated with 1-year readmissions. Generalized linear models were used to estimate predicted mean difference in cumulative costs/year, which allowed estimation of IHR readmission costs/year nationwide.

RESULTS: Of 15,935 identified patients, 19.35% were readmitted within 1 y. Patients who were readmitted differed by insurance, Charlson index, illness severity, smoking status, disposition, and surgical approach compared with those who were not (P < 0.05). Of readmitted patients, 39.3% returned within 30 d; 50.9% and 25.6% were due to any and infectious complications, respectively; 25.6% presented to a different hospital; 35.4% required reoperation; 5.4% experienced bowel obstruction; and 5% had IHR revision. Factors associated with readmissions included Medicare (hazard ratio [HR] 1.46 [95% confidence interval 1.19-1.8]; P < 0.01) or Medicaid (HR 1.42 [1.12-1.8], P < 0.01); chronic pulmonary disease (1.38 [1.17-1.64], P < 0.01), and anemia (1.36, [1.05-1.75], P = 0.02). Readmitted patients had higher 1-year cumulative costs (predicted mean difference $12,190 [95% CI: 10,941-13,438]; P < 0.01). Nationwide cost related to readmissions totaled $90,196,248/y.

CONCLUSIONS: One-year readmissions after IHR are prevalent and most commonly due to postoperative complications, especially infections. One-third of readmitted patients require a subsequent operation, and 5% experience IH recurrence, intensifying the burden to patients and on the health care system.



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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Residents, Fellows and Residents

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