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Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Rating and Surgical Outcomes Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Published:November 16, 2022DOI:
      Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created a 5-star quality rating system to evaluate skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Patient discharge to lower-star quality SNFs has been shown to adversely impact surgical outcomes. Recent data has shown that over 20% of patients are discharged to an SNF after CABG, but the link between SNF quality and CABG outcomes has not been established. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of SNF quality ratings on postoperative outcomes after CABG. Retrospective cohort review of Medicare patients undergoing CABG and discharged to an SNF between the years 2016-2017. Patients were categorized into 3 groups according to the star rating of the SNF with receipt of care after discharge (ie, below average, average, above average). Risk-adjusted 30-day to 1-year outcomes of mortality, readmission, and SNF length of stay were calculated and compared using multivariable logistic regression and Poisson models across SNF quality categories. Of the 73,164 Medicare patients in our sample, 15,522 (21.2%) were discharged to an SNF. Patients in below average SNFs were more likely to be younger, Black, Medicare/Medicaid dual eligible, and have more comorbidities. Compared to above average SNFs, patients discharged to below average SNFs experienced higher risk-adjusted 30-day mortality (2.1% vs 1.6%, P<0.02), readmission (21.6% vs 19.3%, P<0.01) and SNF length of stay (17.3d vs 16.5d, P<0.0001). Within 90-days, below average SNFs experienced higher risk-adjusted readmission rates (31.7% vs 30.0%, P<0.004). Outcomes at 1-year were not statistically significant. Medicare beneficiaries discharged to lower quality SNFs experienced worse postoperative outcomes after CABG. Identifying best practices at high performing SNFs, to potentially implement at low performing facilities, may improve equitable care for patients.

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      Linked Article

      • Commentary: Time to Move Beyond the Operating Room
        Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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          Outcomes after cardiac surgery have steadily improved in recent decades because of advances in surgical techniques, less-invasive approaches, perioperative management, and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols.1 Nevertheless, cardiac surgical practice patterns vary widely and have a considerable impact on patients’ early and long-term outcomes.2 In the United States, skilled nursing facilities (SNF) have become increasingly available and used to support frail or high-risk patients who undergo cardiac surgery and are safely discharged.
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