Suboptimal Use of Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation May Lead to Higher Readmissions and Costs in End-Stage Liver Disease. Journal of palliative medicine Adejumo, A. C., Kim, D., Iqbal, U., Yoo, E. R., Boursiquot, B. C., Cholankeril, G., Wong, R. J., Kwo, P. Y., Ahmed, A. 2019


Background/Aims: Patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) have a high risk for readmission. We studied the role of palliative care consultation (PCC) in ESLD-related readmissions with a focus on health care resource utilization in the United States. Methods: We performed a retrospective longitudinal analysis on patients surviving hospitalizations with ESLD from January 2010 to September 2014 utilizing the Nationwide Readmissions Database with a 90-day follow-up after discharge. We analyzed annual trends in PCC among patients with ESLD. We matched PCC to no-PCC (1:1) using propensity scores to create a pseudorandomized clinical study. We estimated the impact of PCC on readmission rates (30- and 90-day), and length of stay (LOS) and cost during subsequent readmissions. Results: Of the 67,480 hospitalizations with ESLD, 3485 (5.3%) received PCC, with an annual increase from 3.6% to 6.7% (p for trend <0.01). The average 30- and 90-day annual readmission rates were 36.2% and 54.6%, respectively. PCC resulted in a lower risk for 30- and 90-day readmissions (hazard ratio: 0.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.38-0.47 and 0.38, 95% CI: 0.34-0.42, respectively). On subsequent 30- and 90-day readmissions, PCC was associated with decreased LOS (5.6- vs. 7.4 days and 5.7- vs. 6.9 days, p<0.01) and cost (US $48,752 vs. US $75,810 and US $48,582 vs. US $69,035, p<0.01). Conclusion: Inpatient utilization of PCC for ESLD is increasing annually, yet still remains low in the United States. More importantly, PCC was associated with a decline in readmission rates resulting in a lower burden on health care resource utilization and improvement in cost savings during subsequent readmissions.

View details for DOI 10.1089/jpm.2019.0100

View details for PubMedID 31397615