ObjectiveS: The use of hospitalists is increasing. Hospitalists have been associated with reductions in length of stay and associated costs while not negatively impacting outcomes. We examine care for stroke patients because it requires complex care in the hospital and has high post discharge complications. We assessed the association of care provided by a hospitalist with length of stay, discharge destination, 30-day mortality, 30-day readmission, and 30-day emergency department visits. Methods: This study used the 5% Medicare sample from 2002 to 2006. Models included demographic variables, prior health status, type of admission and hospital, and region. Multinomial logit models, generalized estimating equations, Cox proportional hazard models, and propensity score analyses were explored in the analysis. Results: After adjusting models for covariates, hospitalists were associated with increased odds of discharge to inpatient rehabilitation or other facilities compared with discharge home (Odds Ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07-1.43 and Odds Ratio, 1.34; 95% CI 1.05-1.69, respectively). Mean length of stay was 0.37 days lower for patients in hospitalist care compared to nonhospitalist care. This reduction in length of stay was not appreciably changed after adjusting for discharge destination. Hospitalist care was not associated with differences in 30-day emergency department use or mortality. Readmission rates were higher for patients in hospitalist care (Hazard, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.11-1.52). Conclusions: Hospitalists are associated with reduced length of stay and higher rates of discharge to inpatient rehabilitation. The higher readmission rates should be further explored.
- discharge destination
- length of stay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health