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