5 key notes on readmissions after lumbar spine surgery

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 16, 2015 | Print  |

A study published in Spine examines unplanned hospital readmissions after lumbar spine surgery.

A shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance and bundled payments is pushing providers to consider unplanned readmissions and take additional measures to prevent them. The study authors examined hospital administrative data from a single-tertiary institution for six common lumbar pathologies from 2011 to 2013. They identified all readmissions within 90 days of discharge.


There were 1,306 patients identified for the study. The researchers found:


1. There were 70 readmissions with 13 planned and 43 unplanned. The researchers also found 13 coding errors.


2. Unplanned readmission rate was 2.1 percent to 7.1 percent, depending on pathology. The overall readmission rate was 3.3 percent.


3. The factors associated with readmissions were:


• Length of stay
• Discharge position
• Illness score severity
• Surgical approach


4. Adding fusion to the decompression procedures didn't increase readmission rates.


5. The most common reasons for readmissions were surgical site infections and wound complications. They accounted for 72 percent of all the readmissions 90 days after discharge.


More articles on spine surgery:
Dr. Craig Humphreys plans nonprofit organization for care in Kenya
ISASS policy statement: Universal coverage for lumbar total disc replacement—5 key points
5 key notes on delayed spine surgery after traumatic central cord syndrome

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