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Longer LOS for New Heart Failure in Medicaid Patients

Medicaid patients may not have resources for out-of-hospital management of heart failure

Longer LOS for New Heart Failure in Medicaid Patients

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medicaid patients and patients with more comorbidities have a longer length of stay (LOS) for incident heart failure, compared to other hospitalized cases, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Randi E. Foraker, Ph.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues identified predictors of longer hospital LOS among 1,300 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort (1987 to 2005) hospitalized for incident heart failure.

The researchers found that Medicaid recipients experienced a longer LOS compared to non-Medicaid recipients (7.5 versus 6.2 days), and patients with a higher burden of comorbidity had a longer LOS compared to patients with a lower burden (7.5 versus 6.2 days), when adjusting for income, age, gender, race/study community, education level, hypertension, alcohol use, smoking, Medicaid status, and Charlson comorbidity index score. There was no association between LOS and median household income and education, in multivariable models.

"Medicaid recipients and patients with more comorbid disease may not have the resources for adequate, comprehensive, out-of-hospital management of heart failure symptoms, and may require a longer LOS due to the need for more care during the hospitalization because of more severe heart failure," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to SRA International and Merck.

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