Stroke.ahajournals.org: August 30, 2012
Background and Purpose—The critical access hospital (CAH) designation was established to provide rural residents with local access to emergency and inpatient care. CAHs, however, have poorer short-term outcomes for pneumonia, heart failure, and myocardial infarction compared with other hospitals. We assessed whether 30-day risk-standardized mortality rates (RSMRs) and risk-standardized readmission rates (RSRRs) after ischemic stroke differ between CAHs and non-CAHs.
Methods—The study included all fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age or older with a primary discharge diagnosis of ischemic stroke (International Classification of Diseases,9th revision codes 433, 434, 436) in 2006. Hierarchical generalized linear models calculated hospital-level RSMRs and RSRRs, adjusting for patient demographics, medical history, and comorbid conditions. Non-CAHs were categorized by hospital volume quartiles and the RSMR and RSRR posterior probabilities in comparison with CAHs were determined using linear regression with Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. Read more