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Houston, TX, United States

Minkowitz H.S.,Memorial Hermann City Medical Center | Scranton R.,Pacira Pharmaceuticals | Gruschkus S.K.,Data Applied | Nipper-Johnson K.,Memorial Hermann City Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy | Year: 2014

Background: Opioid-related adverse drug events (ORADEs) are common causes of hospitalization and increased health care costs. Objectives: To (a) estimate rates of specific adverse drug events (ADEs) among gastrointestinal (GI) surgery patients receiving postoperative opioids; (b) examine the utility of a risk-scoring model in categorizing patients at high risk of experiencing ORADEs; and (c) quantify potential clinical/economic benefits of targeting high-risk GI surgical patients for opioid-sparing regimens in terms of hospitalization cost, length of stay (LOS), and 30-day readmission rates. Methods: Using a retrospective design based on an administrative database, patients with an inpatient surgical procedure between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, were included. GI surgical patients aged > 18 years followed from admission through 30 days postdischarge were characterized as high or low risk using clinical/demographic characteristics and were evaluated for several outcomes. Using multivariate logistic regression, the ORADE incidence, total hospitalization cost, LOS, and 30-day readmissions were compared for high-risk and low-risk patients. Results: In 87.8% (n = 3,235) of the surgical population, there was a strong concordance between risk assignment and ORADE incidence. Among the remaining 12.2% (n = 449) of patients, 5.5% (n = 202) were low risk with an ORADE, and 6.7% (n = 247) were high risk without an ORADE. Overall, 20.6% (n = 344) of high-risk patients experienced ≥1 ORADE (mean cost: $31,988; LOS: 12.1 days) compared with only 5.3% (n = 107) of lowrisk patients (mean cost: $25,216; LOS: 8.0 days). High-risk patients had higher hospitalization costs and longer LOS than low-risk patients, respectively (mean cost: $19,234 vs. $13,036; mean LOS: 6.8 days vs. 3.3 days). These differences correspond to 47.0% higher costs for high-risk patients and an LOS approximately twice as long compared with low-risk patients. Conclusions: Patient clinical/demographic characteristics influence the risk of developing ORADEs. Risk assessment tools can effectively identify high-risk patients, thereby enabling interventions that can reduce ORADEs, decrease hospital costs, and improve postsurgical experiences for patients. © 2014, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

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