Timing of Palliative Care Consultation and the Impact on Thirty-Day Readmissions and Inpatient Mortality.J Palliat Med. 2019 04; 22(4):393-399.JP
Inpatient palliative care consultation (PCC) may reduce 30-day readmissions and inpatient mortality among seriously ill patients.
To evaluate the impact of timing of PCC on 30-day readmissions and inpatient mortality.
Retrospective, observational study comparing risk-adjusted, observed-to-expected (O/E) 30-day readmissions and inpatient mortality among patients receiving inpatient PCC to all other inpatients.
Adult patients with hospital length of stay (LOS) <30 days, primary diagnoses of circulatory, infectious, respiratory, neoplasms, injury/poisoning, and digestive system were included from eight hospitals in a single health care system.
Compared with non-PCC patients (n = 43,463), PCC patients (n = 6043) had a greater proportion of African Americans, Medicare, LOS ≥7 days, intensive care unit stays, discharges to skilled nursing facility and hospice, primary diagnoses of infections and neoplasms, comorbidities of congestive heart failure, cancer, and dementia, Charlson comorbidity score ≥8 (p < 0.001), and fewer males (p = 0.03). Adjusted readmission reduction attributed to PCC among 0-2-, 3-6-, and 7-30-day subgroups was 14.1%, 19.2%, and 16.4%, respectively (usual care O/E = 0.904 vs. subgroup O/Es = 0.764, 0.713, 0.741, respectively). Adjusted mortality reductions attributed to PCC among the 0-2- and 3-6-day subgroups were 19.4% and 19.1%, respectively. A 12% mortality increase was observed in the 7-30-day subgroup (usual care O/E = 0.738 vs. subgroup O/Es = 0.544, 0.547, 0.858, respectively).
Inpatient PCC reduces 30-day readmissions and inpatient mortality with the greatest impact demonstrated within six days of hospital admission. Early PCC should be encouraged for eligible patients.