Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health insurance status linked to mortality risk in Pennsylvania ICUs

Date:
May 17, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Adult patients without health insurance admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Pennsylvania hospitals are at a 21 percent increased risk of death compared to similar patients with private insurance, according to researchers. The difference in mortality risk was not explained by patient characteristics or differences in care at the hospital level, suggesting that uninsured patients might receive poorer quality care.

Adult patients without health insurance admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Pennsylvania hospitals are at a 21 percent increased risk of death compared to similar patients with private insurance, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. The difference in mortality risk was not explained by patient characteristics or differences in care at the hospital level, suggesting that uninsured patients might receive poorer quality care.

The findings are being presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

Compared to similar patients with private insurance or Medicaid, uninsured ICU patients were also less likely to receive certain common critical care procedures, including placement of central venous catheters, tracheostomies and acute hemodialysis.

"Previous studies suggested that uninsured critically ill patients may have a higher mortality, and may be less likely to receive certain critical care procedures. But we found that these differences are primarily due to differences in quality within hospitals rather than across hospitals," said Sarah M. Lyon, M.D., pulmonary and critical care fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "The higher mortality for uninsured patients does not appear to be caused by uninsured patients tending to go to hospitals with poor overall quality. Instead, we found that even when admitted to the same hospitals, and controlling for other differences between patients, critically ill individuals without insurance are less likely to survive than those with private or Medicaid insurance."

Dr. Lyon and colleagues analyzed 30-day mortality, and the use of several key ICU procedures, in all adult patients under 65 admitted to Pennsylvania ICUs from 2005 to2006 using state hospital discharge data. They categorized the 166,995 patients as having private health insurance (67.7 percent), Medicaid (28.5 percent), or being uninsured (3.8 percent.) When the researchers analyzed mortality at 30 days, they found that uninsured patients were 21 percent more likely to die than patients with private insurance; those with Medicaid had a 3 percent greater risk of death. Only the mortality difference between private insurance and uninsured patients was statistically significant.

"Our findings suggest that ICU patients without insurance have a higher risk of death and receive less intense treatment in the ICU. Expanding and standardizing health care coverage through health care reform may improve outcomes in critically ill patients," said Dr. Lyon. "We still do not understand all the reasons for differences in survival between the insured and uninsured. Critically ill patients without insurance may arrive to the hospital in more advanced stages of illness, perhaps in ways we could not control for in our study. Patients without insurance may also have different preferences for intensity of care at the end of life, and may not wish to be kept alive on life support as long as patients with insurance. Another, more concerning explanation is that physicians and hospitals treat patients without insurance differently than those with insurance. More work is needed before we can say with certainty that treatment biases caused these results."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Health insurance status linked to mortality risk in Pennsylvania ICUs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517204357.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, May 17). Health insurance status linked to mortality risk in Pennsylvania ICUs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517204357.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Health insurance status linked to mortality risk in Pennsylvania ICUs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517204357.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins