Journal Article The impact of patient profiles and procedures on hospitalization costs through length of stay in community-acquired pneumonia patients based on a Japanese administrative database

Uematsu, Hironori  ,  Kunisawa, Susumu  ,  Yamashita, Kazuto  ,  Imanaka, Yuichi

10 ( 4 ) 2015-04-29 , Public Library of Science
Background: Community-acquired pneumonia is a common cause of patient hospitalization, and its burden on health care systems is increasing in aging societies. In this study, we aimed to investigate the factors that affect hospitalization costs in community-acquired pneumonia patients while considering the intermediate influence of patient length of stay. Methods: Using a multi-institutional administrative claims database, we analyzed 30, 041 patients hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia who had been discharged between April 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013 from 289 acute care hospitals in Japan. Possible factors associated with hospitalization costs were investigated using structural equation modeling with length of stay as an intermediate variable. We calculated the direct, indirect (through length of stay), and total effects of the candidate factors on hospitalization costs in the model. Lastly, we calculated the ratio of indirect effects to direct effects for each factor. Results: The structural equation model showed that higher disease severities (using A-DROP, Barthel Index, and Charlson Comorbidity Index scores), use of mechanical ventilation, and tube feeding were associated with higher hospitalization costs, regardless of the intermediate influence of length of stay. The severity factors were also associated with longer length of stay durations. The ratio of indirect effects to direct effects on total hospitalization costs showed that the former was greater than the latter in the factors, except in the use of mechanical ventilation. Conclusions: Our structural equation modeling analysis indicated that patient profiles and procedures impacted on hospitalization costs both directly and indirectly. Furthermore, the profiles were generally shown to have greater indirect effects (through length of stay) on hospitalization costs than direct effects. These findings may be useful in supporting the more appropriate distribution of health care resources.

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