WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — While race is not a significant predictor of unplanned hospital visits after breast reconstruction surgery, racial minorities bear a higher cost burden than White breast reconstruction patients, according to a study published online in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Jacob S. Nasser, from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the effect of race on the rate and cost of unplanned hospitalizations after breast reconstruction procedures. The analysis included 17,042 patients.
The researchers found that the overall rate of an unplanned visit was 5 percent. While the rates of readmissions were higher among Black patients (6 percent) and Hispanic patients (7 percent) versus White patients (5 percent), race was not an independent predictor of an unplanned visit when controlling for patient-level characteristics. However, expenditure was significantly higher for Black patients (adjusted cost ratio, 1.35) and Hispanic patients (adjusted cost ratio, 1.34) versus White patients.
“Adjusted payment models may be a strategy to reduce disparities in surgical care,” the authors write. “In addition, direct and indirect measures of disparities should be used when examining health care disparities to identify consequences of inequities more robustly.”
One author reported receiving book royalties from Wolters Kluwer and Elsevier.
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