Exposing the care conundrum of low-energy pelvic ring fractures in older adults: a review of 322 patients Journal Article uri icon
  • INTRODUCTION: A care conundrum for low-energy pelvic ring fracture patients in which they face financial burden after not qualifying for an inpatient stay of 3 days or more has been noted in the literature. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that lead to inpatient length of stay (IP LOS) ≥ 3 days in older adults with nonoperative pelvic ring fragility fractures and to highlight the challenging financial decision-making of those with IP LOS <3 days in the context of the Medicare 3-day rule. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of 322 patients aged ≥ 65 presenting from March 2016 and February 2019 to either of 2 emergency departments (EDs) after a ground-level fall resulting in a pelvic ring fracture. Patient demographic, IP LOS, and mortality data were extracted. Case management notes were analyzed to summarize financial decision-making for patients with IP LOS <3 days. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify factors that predicted IP LOS ≥ 3 days and mortality. RESULTS: IP LOS ≥ 3 days was associated with presentation to level I hospital (OR .30 [.19, 0.50]) and being single (OR 2.50 [1.10, 5.68]). 70.3% required a post-acute skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay. Of patients with LOS <3 days, 25.0% were financially responsible for their SNF stay, while 7.9% elected home care due to financial reasons. Overall 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year mortality were 2.5%, 8.1%, and 20.8%, respectively. For patients with LOS <3 days, returning to assisted living compared to discharging to a SNF increased 90-day mortality risk (HR 8.529, P = .0451). Having Medicare trended towards increased 90-day mortality risk compared to commercial insurance (HR 4.556, P = .0544). CONCLUSION: The current system is failing older adult patients who sustain nonoperative low-energy pelvic ring fractures in terms of financial coverage of necessary post-acute treatment. This care conundrum has yet to be solved.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2023
  • Research
  • Aging and Geriatrics
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Economics
  • Fractures
  • Hospitalization
  • Orthopedics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Additional Document Info
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