Insurance status affects access to care, which may affect health outcomes. The objective was to determine whether patients without insurance or with government-sponsored insurance had worse quality of care or in-hospital outcomes in acute ischemic stroke.
Multivariable logistic regressions with generalized estimating equations stratified by age under or at least 65 years were adjusted for patient demographics and comorbidities, presenting factors, and hospital characteristics to determine differences in in-hospital mortality and postdischarge destination. We included 589 320 ischemic stroke patients treated at 1604 US hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program between 2012 and 2015. Uninsured patients with hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes mellitus were less likely to be taking appropriate control medications prior to stroke, to use an ambulance to arrive to the ED, or to arrive early after symptom onset. Even after adjustment, the uninsured were more likely than the privately insured to die in the hospital (<65 years, OR 1.33 [95% CI 1.22-1.45]; ≥65 years OR 1.54 [95% CI 1.34-1.75]), and among survivors, were less likely to go to inpatient rehab (<65 OR 0.63 [95% CI 0.6-0.67]; ≥65 OR 0.56 [95% CI 0.5-0.63]). In contrast, patients with Medicare and Medicaid were more likely to be discharged to a Skilled Nursing Facility (<65 years OR 2.08 [CI 1.96-2.2]; OR 2.01 [95% CI 1.91-2.13]; ≥65 years OR 1.1 [95% CI 1.07-1.13]; OR 1.41 [95% CI 1.35-1.46]).
Preventative care prior to ischemic stroke, time to presentation for acute treatment, access to rehabilitation, and in-hospital mortality differ by patient insurance status.