Payer Type, Race/Ethnicity, and the Timing of Surgical Management of Urinary Stone Disease. Journal of endourology Brubaker, W. D., Dallas, K., Elliott, C. S., Pao, A. C., Chertow, G., Leppert, J. T., Conti, S. L. 2018


PURPOSE: Surgery for upper tract urinary stone disease is often reserved for symptomatic patients and those whose stone does not spontaneously pass after a trial of passage. Our objective was to determine whether payer type or race/ethnicity is associated with the timeliness of kidney stone surgery.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Population-based cohort study using the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development dataset from 2010 to 2012. We identified patients who were discharged from an emergency department with a stone diagnosis and who subsequently underwent a stone surgery. Primary outcome was time from emergency department discharge to urinary stone surgery in days. Secondary outcomes included potential harms resulting from delayed stone surgery.RESULTS: Over the study period, 15,193 patients met the inclusion criteria. Median time from emergency department discharge to stone surgery was 28 days. On multivariable analysis patients with Medicaid, Medicare, and self-pay coverage experienced adjusted mean increases of 46%, 42%, and 60% in time to surgery, respectively, when compared with private insurance. Additionally, patients of Black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, respectively experienced adjusted mean increases of 36% and 20% in time to surgery relative to their white counterparts. Prior to a stone surgery, underinsured patients were more likely to revisit an emergency department three or more times, undergo two or more CT imaging studies, and receive upper urinary tract decompression.CONCLUSIONS: Underinsured and minority patients are more likely to experience a longer time to stone surgery after presenting to an emergency department and experience potential harm from this delay.

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