THURSDAY, March 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among Medicare beneficiaries, there was an increase in mortality rates in the 30 days after hospital admission for non-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (non-SARS-CoV-2) causes during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 through September 2021), according to a study published online March 9 in JAMA Network Open.
Alexander Dang, M.D., from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and colleagues used Medicare claims data to examine changes in mortality rates after hospitalization for non-SARS-CoV-2 conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic (January 2019 through September 2021) and how mortality varies by characteristics of the admission and hospital (4,626 U.S. hospitals). The analysis included 8.4 million adults with non-SARS-CoV-2 medical admissions.
The researchers found that mortality in the 30 days after admission increased from 9.43 percent in 2019 to 11.48 percent from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021 (odds ratio [OR], 1.20) when adjusting for admission and hospital characteristics. The increase in mortality was maintained during the first 18 months of the pandemic and varied according to race and ethnicity (ORs: 1.27 for Black enrollees, 1.25 for Hispanic enrollees, and 1.18 for White enrollees); Medicaid eligibility (ORs, 1.25 for Medicaid eligible versus 1.18 for noneligible); and hospital quality score (ORs, 1.27 for worst versus 1.11 for best).
“With the continued impact of SARS-CoV-2, it is important to implement interventions to improve access to high-quality hospital care for those with non-SARS-CoV-2 diseases,” the authors write.
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