Emergency department visits after primary lumbar fusion have $7M cost burden: 4 things to know

Written by Shayna Korol | March 27, 2019 | Print  |

A study in Clinical Spine Surgery assessed the causes and costs of 30-day emergency department visits after primary lumbar fusion.

Four things to know:

1. The researchers retrospectively analyzed a national insurance database and identified 37,559 patients who had undergone primary lumbar fusion between 2007 and the third quarter of 2015.

2. A total of 4,806 patients had 10,281 emergency department visits within 30 days postoperatively. Of these patients, 19.9 percent had three or more visits, and 20.5 percent were admitted to the hospital for management.

3. Common causes for emergency department presentation in the ED were cardiorespiratory complaints — 49.4 percent of patients — and back and/or leg pain — 47.7 percent.

4. The overall emergency department cost burden was nearly two-thirds as much as that of hospital readmissions within 30 days — $6.99 million versus $10.88 million respectively.

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