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Mull HJ, Rosen AK, O'Brien WJ, McIntosh N, Legler A, Hawn MT, Itani KMF, Pizer SD. Factors Associated with Hospital Admission after Outpatient Surgery in the Veterans Health Administration. Health services research. 2018 Oct 1; 53(5):3855-3880.
OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with 0- to 7-day admission after outpatient surgery in high-volume specialties: general surgery, orthopedics, urology, ear/nose/throat, and podiatry. STUDY DESIGN: We calculated rates and assessed diagnosis codes for 0- to 7-day admission after outpatient surgery for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Veterans Health Administration (VA) dually enrolled patients age 65 and older. We also estimated separate multilevel logistic regression models to compare patient, procedure, and facility characteristics associated with postoperative admission. DATA COLLECTION: 2011-2013 surgical encounter data from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse; geographic data from the Area Health Resources File; CMS enrollment and hospital admission data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Among 63,585 outpatient surgeries in 124 facilities, 0- to 7-day admission rates ranged from 5 percent (podiatry) to 28 percent (urology); nearly 66 percent of the admissions occurred on the day of surgery. Only 97 admissions were detected in the CMS data (1 percent). Surgical complications were diagnosed in 4 percent of admissions. Procedure complexity, measured by relative value units or anesthesia risk score, was associated with admission across all specialties. CONCLUSION: As many as 20 percent of VA outpatient surgeries result in an admission. Complex procedures are more likely to be followed by admission, but more evidence is required to determine how many of these reflect potential safety or quality problems.