American College of Cardiology; American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines; Canadian Cardiovascular Society. ACC/AHA guidelines for the management of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee to Revise the 1999 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Direct admission to Coronary Care Unit (CCU) on hospital arrival can be considered as a good proxy for adequate management in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), as it has been associated with better prognosis. We analyzed a cohort of patients with AMI hospitalized in Rome (Italy) in 1997-2000 to assess the proportion directly admitted to CCU and to investigate the effect of patient characteristics such as gender, age, illness severity on admission, and socio-economic status (SES) on CCU admission practices.
Using discharge data, we analyzed a cohort of 9127 AMI patients. Illness severity on admission was determined using the Deyo's adaptation of the Charlson's comorbidity index, and each patient was assigned to one to four SES groups (level I referring to the highest SES) defined by a socioeconomic index, derived by the characteristics of the census tract of residence. The effect of gender, age, illness severity and SES, on risk of non-admission to CCU was investigated using a logistic regression model (OR, CI 95%).
Only 53.9% of patients were directly admitted to CCU, and access to optimal care was more frequently offered to younger patients (OR = 0.35; 95%CI = 0.25-0.48 when comparing 85+ to >=50 years), those with less severe illness (OR = 0.48; 95%CI = 0.37-0.61 when comparing Charlson index 3+ to 0) and the socially advantaged (OR = 0.81; 95%CI = 0.66-0.99 when comparing low to high SES).
In Rome, Italy, standard optimal coronary care is underprovided. It seems to be granted preferentially to the better off, even after controversial clinical criteria, such as age and severity of illness, are taken into account.
BMC Health Services Research 01/2005; 4(1):34. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-4-34 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 was designed to reduce Medicare reimbursements by $116.4 billion from 1998 to 2002. The objective of this study was to determine whether the process of care for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) worsened to a greater degree in hospitals under increased financial strain from the BBA and whether vulnerable populations such as the uninsured were disproportionately affected.
We examined how process-of-care measures and in-hospital mortality for AMI patients changed in accordance with the degree of BBA-induced financial stress using data on 236,506 patients from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction (NRMI) and Medicare Cost Reports from 1996 to 2001. BBA-induced reductions in hospital net revenues were estimated at 1.5% (2.9 million dollars) for hospitals with low BBA impact and 3.2% (3.7 million dollars) for hospitals with a high impact in 1998, worsening to 2.2% (4.4 million dollars) and 4.7% (6.0 million dollars), respectively, by 2001. For both insured and uninsured patients in high- versus low-impact hospitals, there was no systematic worsening of time to thrombolytic therapy, balloon inflation, medication use on admission, medication use on discharge, or mortality. There was no systematic pattern of different treatment among the insured and uninsured. Operating margins decreased to a degree commensurate with the degree of revenue reduction in high- versus low-impact hospitals.
BBA created a moderate financial strain on hospitals. However, process-of-care measures for both insured and uninsured patients with AMI were not appreciably affected by these revenue reductions. It is important to note that these results apply only to AMI patients; we do not know the degree to which these findings generalize to other conditions.
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