Duluth, MN, United States
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Roebuck M.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Feldstein J.I.,Center for Applied Value Analysis Inc. | McCarty C.A.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Grover L.L.,Wilmer Eye Institute
Archives of Ophthalmology | Year: 2012

Objective: To estimate annual per-patient health services utilization and costs of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in the United States. Methods: A retrospective claims analysis of patients with RP (N=2990) and a 1:1 exactly matched cohort of non-RP patients was conducted using the MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases. Individuals were continuously enrolled in a commercial health plan or employer-sponsored health insurance for at least 1 year. The following annual outcomes were analyzed using non-linear multivariate models: inpatient hospital admissions, inpatient hospital days, emergency department visits, outpatient physician visits, and prescription drug refills and inpatient and outpatientmedical, pharmacy, and total health care costs. Results: Patients with RP had 0.04 more hospital admissions (P < .001), 0.19 more inpatient hospital days (P < .02), 0.05 more emergency department visits (P < .01), 2.74 more outpatient visits (P < .001), and 2.18 additional prescription drug fills (P < .001) annually compared with their non-RP counterparts. Health care expenditures were significantly higher for patients with RP, who cost $894, $4855, and $452 more for inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy services, respectively (P < .001). Overall health care costs were $7317 more per patient per year in the RP cohort, with expenditures varying considerably by age. Conclusions: Patients with RP consume substantially greater amounts of health services with significantly higher health care costs. Clinical Relevance: Treatments that slow, halt, or possibly restore RP-related vision loss may prove costeffective for payers and society.


Seekatz A.M.,University of Michigan | Aas J.,Essentia Health | Gessert C.E.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Rubin T.A.,Essentia Health | And 3 more authors.
mBio | Year: 2014

Clostridium difficile infection is one of the most common health care-associated infections, and up to 40% of patients suffer from recurrence of disease following standard antibiotic therapy. Recently, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been successfully used to treat recurrent C. difficile infection. It is hypothesized that FMT aids in recovery of a microbiota capable of colonization resistance to C. difficile. However, it is not fully understood how this occurs. Here we investigated changes in the fecal microbiota structure following FMT in patients with recurrent C. difficile infection, and imputed a hypothetical functional profile based on the 16S rRNA profile using a predictive metagenomic tool. Increased relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and decreased abundance of Proteobacteria were observed following FMT. The fecal microbiota of recipients following transplantation was more diverse and more similar to the donor profile than the microbiota prior to transplantation. Additionally, we observed differences in the imputed metagenomic profile. In particular, amino acid transport systems were overrepresented in samples collected prior to transplantation. These results suggest that functional changes accompany microbial structural changes following this therapy. Further identification of the specific community members and functions that promote colonization resistance may aid in the development of improved treatment methods for C. difficile infection. © 2014 Seekatz et al.


Okere A.N.,Ferris State University | Renier C.M.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Tomsche J.J.,St Marys Medical Center
Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is anticipated to increase the frequency of emergency department (ED) visits. Therefore, there is a critical need to improve the quality of care transitions among ED patients from ED to outpatient services. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of systematic implementation of a pharmacistled patient-centered approach to medication therapy management and reconciliation service (MRS) in the ED on patient utilization of available health care services. METHODS: A single institution prospective randomized cohort study with 90-day postvisit observation randomized patients into 2 groups: (1) medication therapy management reconciliation service following a patient-centered approach (MRS) or (2) usual care provided by the institution (non-MRS). To align patient enrollment with availability of other primary care services, subjects were enrolled during weekday daytime hours. Data for the 90 days before and after the index ED visit were matched in all analyses. Generalized estimating equations evaluated any primary care (PC), urgent care (UC), and ED visits during the 90 days post-index ED visit, adjusted by age and sex and weighted by survival time. Generalized linear models evaluated the average number of ED visits during that period, adjusted by age and sex and weighted by survival time. Data were analyzed for all adult patients (ADLTS), aged ≥ 18 years, and the subpopulation taking 1 or more prescribed daily medication at the time of the index ED visit (ADLTS1+)-the patients expected to receive greatest benefit from an MRS program. RESULTS: ADLTS MRS patients were 1.9 more likely than non-MRS patients to visit their PC providers (mean difference 0.15, P < 0.001). Similarly, ADLTS1+ MRS patients were 1.5 times more likely to visit their PC providers (mean difference 0.10, P = 0.026). Although ADLT MRS patients were less likely to visit the UC, this was not significant. However, ADLTS1+ MRS patients were significantly less likely than non-MRS patients (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3-0.9) to visit the UC. No significant difference was seen in ED visits. CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of a patient-centered approach to medication therapy management and reconciliation improved the odds of patients visiting their PC providers, a positive first step in transitioning patients toward an appropriate use of PC services. © 2015, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.


Lutfiyya M.N.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Gessert C.E.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Lipsky M.S.,Illinois College
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association | Year: 2013

Background: Advances in medicine and an aging US population suggest that there will be an increasing demand for nursing home services. Although nursing homes are highly regulated and scrutinized, their quality remains a concern and may be a greater issue to those living in rural communities. Despite this, few studies have investigated differences in the quality of nursing home care across the rural-urban continuum. The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of rural and nonrural nursing homes by using aggregated rankings on multiple quality measures calculated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and reported on their Nursing Home Compare Web site. Methods: Independent-sample t tests were performed to compare the mean ratings on the reported quality measures of rural and nonrural nursing homes. A linear mixed binary logistic regression model controlling for state was performed to determine if the covariates of ownership, number of beds, and geographic locale were associated with a higher overall quality rating. Results: Of the 15,177 nursing homes included in the study sample, 69.2% were located in nonrural areas and 30.8% in rural areas. The t test analysis comparing the overall, health inspection, staffing, and quality measure ratings of rural and nonrural nursing homes yielded statistically significant results for 3measures, 2 of which (overall ratings and health inspections) favored rural nursing homes. Although a higher percentage of nursing homes (44.8%-42.2%) received a 4-star or higher rating, regression analysis using an overall rating of 4 stars or higher as the dependent variable revealed that when controlling for state and adjusting for size and ownership, rural nursing homes were less likely to have a 4-star or higher rating when compared with nonrural nursing homes (OR= .901, 95% CI 0.824-0.986). Conclusions: Mixed model logistic regression analysis suggested that rural nursing home quality was not comparable to that of nonrural nursing homes. When controlling for state and adjusting for nursing home size and ownership, rural nursing homes were not as likely to earn a 4-or higher star quality rating as nonrural nursing homes. © 2013 American Medical Directors Association, Inc.


Olson M.E.,Childrens Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota | Diekema D.,Seattle Childrens Hospital | Diekema D.,University of Washington | Elliott B.A.,University of Minnesota | Renier C.M.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health
Pediatrics | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVES: The goal was to investigate the relationships of income and income inequality with neonatal and infant health outcomes in the United States. METHODS: The 2000-2004 state data were extracted from the Kids Count Data Center. Health indicators included proportion of preterm births (PTBs), proportion of infants with low birth weight (LBW), proportion of infants with very low birth weight (VLBW), and infant mortality rate (IMR). Income was evaluated on the basis of median family income and proportion of federal poverty levels; income inequality was measured by using the Gini coefficient. Pearson correlations evaluated associations between the proportion of children living in poverty and the health indicators. Linear regression evaluated predictive relationships between median household income, proportion of children living in poverty, and income inequality for the 4 health indicators. RESULTS: Median family income was negatively correlated with all birth outcomes (PTB, r=-0.481; LBW, r=-0.295; VLBW, r=-0.133; IMR, r = -0.432), and the Gini coefficient was positively correlated (PTB, r = 0.339; LBW, r = 0.398; VLBW, r = 0.460; IMR, r = 0.114). The Gini coefficient explained a significant proportion of the variance in rate for each outcome in linear regression models with median family income. Among children living in poverty, the role of income decreased as the degree of poverty decreased, whereas the role of income inequality increased. CONCLUSIONS: Both income and income inequality affect infant health outcomes in the United States. The health of the poorest infants was affected more by absolute wealth than relative wealth. Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Saman D.M.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Saman D.M.,Health Watch United States | Kavanagh K.T.,Health Watch United States | Johnson B.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Lutfiyya M.N.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Factors that increase the risk of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are not fully understood. Recently, Hospital Compare began compiling data from hospital-required reporting to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network on CLABSIs in intensive care units (ICUs), at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals in the United States, and made this data accessible on a central website. Also available on the same website are results from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey of patients' hospital experiences. Utilizing both databases, our objective was to determine whether patients' hospital experiences were significantly associated with increased risk for reported ICU CLABSI. Methods and Findings: We conducted a zero-inflated Poisson regression analysis at the hospital level on CLABSI-observed cases by ICUs in acute care hospitals (n = 1987) in the United States between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011. During this period there were a total of 10,866 CLABSI cases and 9,543,765 central line days. In our final model, the percent of patients who reported that they "sometimes" or "never" received help as soon as they wanted was significantly associated with an increased risk for CLABSIs. Conclusions: Using national datasets, we found that inpatients' hospital experiences were significantly associated with an increased risk of ICU reported CLABSIs. This study suggests that hospitals with lower staff responsiveness, perhaps because of an understaffing of nurse and supportive personnel, are at an increased risk for CLABSIs. This study bolsters the evidence that patient surveys may be a useful surrogate to predicting the incidence of hospital acquired conditions, including CLABSIs. Moreover, our study found that poor staff responsiveness may be indicative of greater hospital problems and generally poorly performing hospitals; and that this finding may be a symptom of hospitals with a multitude of problems, including patient safety problems, and not a direct cause. © 2013 Saman et al.


Gessert C.E.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Haller I.V.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Johnson B.P.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health
BMC Geriatrics | Year: 2013

Background: Regional variation in the intensity of end-of-life care contributes significantly to the overall cost of health care. The interpretation of patterns of regional variation hinges, in part, on appropriate adjustment for regional variation in demographic variables such as age, race, sex, and rural vs. urban residence. This study examined regional variation in discontinuation of dialysis prior to death in the US, after adjustment for key demographic variables. Methods. In this retrospective cohort study of the 2009 United States Renal Data System (USRDS) database we examined discontinuation of dialysis prior to death among deceased adult patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The discontinuation of dialysis prior to death was ascertained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services form 2746 (ESRD Death Notification form). We used logistic regression to estimate the log-odds of discontinuation of dialysis with ESRD network as independent variable adjusted for urban-rural status, demographic and treatment variables. Results: The study cohort included 715,605 deceased ESRD patients; for 176,021 of whom (24.6%) dialysis was discontinued prior to death. Dialysis was discontinued at higher rates for women than for men (26.3% vs. 23.0%, p < 0.001) and for whites than for blacks (29.5% vs. 14.7%, p < 0.001). Significant regional variation in dialysis discontinuation prior to death was noted after adjustment for age, race and rural-urban status: rates of discontinuation in the Upper Midwest and Mountain regions were more than double the rates in Southern and Coastal regions. This pattern parallels the regional pattern of end-of-life health service utilization documented in the Dartmouth Atlas and other studies. Conclusions: Discontinuation of dialysis prior to death was common in the US between 1995 and 2009. The deaths of nearly one quarter of chronic dialysis patients followed a decision to discontinue dialysis. Significant regional variation in discontinuation rates exists after adjusting for age, race, sex, and rural-urban status. Further research and analysis is needed on the cultural and economic factors that affect regional variation in health services utilization, especially in regard to the use of expensive medical services near the end of life. © 2013 Gessert et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lutfiyya M.N.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Chang L.F.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Lipsky M.S.,University of Illinois at Chicago
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: Rural residents are increasingly identified as being at greater risk for health disparities. These inequities may be related to health behaviors such as adequate fruits and vegetable consumption. There is little national-level population-based research about the prevalence of fruit and vegetable consumption by US rural population adults. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence differences between US rural and non-rural adults in consuming at least five daily servings of combined fruits and vegetables. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of weighted 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data using bivariate and multivariate techniques. 52,259,789 US adults were identified as consuming at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables of which 8,983,840 were identified as living in rural locales. Results: Bivariate analysis revealed that in comparison to non-rural US adults, rural adults were less likely to consume five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables (OR = 1.161, 95% CI 1.160-1.162). Logistic regression analysis revealed that US rural adults consuming at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables were more likely to be female, non-Caucasian, married or living with a partner, living in a household without children, living in a household whose annual income was >$35,000, and getting at least moderate physical activity. They were also more likely to have a BMI of <30, have a personal physician, have had a routine medical exam in the past 12 months, self-defined their health as good to excellent and to have deferred medical care because of cost. When comparing the prevalence differences between rural and non-rural US adults within a state, 37 States had a lower prevalence of rural adults consuming at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and 11 States a higher prevalence of the same. Conclusions: This enhanced understanding of fruit and vegetable consumption should prove useful to those seeking to lessen the disparity or inequity between rural and non-rural adults. Additionally, those responsible for health-related planning could benefit from the knowledge of how their state ranks in comparison to others vis-à-vis the consumption of fruits and vegetables by rural adults - a population increasingly being identified as one at risk for health disparities. © 2012 Lutfiyya et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Kremens K.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Kremens K.,University of North Dakota
Wisconsin Medical Journal | Year: 2016

Self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS) are commonly placed in malignant airway obstruction and sometimes in benign obstruction. Complications from SEMS placement are common, especially after 30 days from deployment. SEMS removal can be complicated and often involves significant resources. We report a case of a 78-year-old man with small cell carcinoma who underwent placement of a Luminexx endovascular stent in his right main stem bronchus, complicated by stent migration after initiation of chemotherapy. Stent removal was performed by flexible bronchoscopy, utilizing forceps inserted via a working channel, as well as a goose neck snare operated parallel to the bronchoscope. The patient was discharged the same day with no complications. © 2016 Wisconsin Medical Society.


Gepner A.D.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Haller I.V.,Essentia Institute of Rural Health | Krueger D.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Korcarz C.E.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 2 more authors.
Atherosclerosis | Year: 2015

Objective: It is unclear if vitamin D supplementation improves central blood pressure or arterial stiffness in Native American (NA) women. Methods: Healthy postmenopausal NA women were randomized to receive 400 IU or 2500 IU of vitamin D for 6 months. Central systolic blood pressure (cSBP), central pulse pressure (cPP) and aortic augmentation index (AIx) were estimated by tonometry at baseline and after 6 months. Results: Study volunteers (n=98) were 61 (7.3) years old. 25(OH)D was 26.4 (11.0) ng/mL. 25(OH)D was similar between the two treatment groups (p=0.291), as were baseline cSBP, cPP, and CVD risk factors (all p>0.1). Treatment with 2500 IU of daily vitamin D3 did not affect cSBP, cPP, or AIx (all p>0.1) compared to 400 IU daily. Conclusions: Despite low serum 25(OH)D at baseline, 6 months of vitamin D supplementation did not improve central blood pressure parameters or arterial stiffness in NA women. Clinical trials. gov identifier: NCT01490333. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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