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Profiling hospital performance on the basis of readmission after transcatheter aortic valve replacement in Ontario, Canada

Elbaz-Greener G, Qiu F, Webb JG, Henning KA, Ko DT, Czarnecki A, Roifman I, Austin PC, Wijeysundera HC. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019; 8(12):e012355. Epub 2019 Jun 5. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.119.012355.


Background — Readmission rates are a widely accepted quality indicator. Our objective was to develop models for calculating case‐mixed adjusted readmission rates after transcatheter aortic valve replacement for the purpose of profiling hospitals.

Methods and Results — In this population‐based study in Ontario, Canada, we identified all transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2016. For each hospital, we first calculated 30‐day and 1‐year risk‐standardized (predicted versus expected) readmission rates, using 2‐level hierarchical logistic regression models, including clustering of patients within hospitals. We also calculated the risk‐adjusted (observed versus expected) readmission rates, accounting for the competing risk of death using a Fine‐Gray competing risk model. We categorized hospitals into 3 groups: those performing worse than expected, those performing better than expected, or those performing as expected, on the basis of whether the 95% CI was above, below, or included the provincial average readmission rate respectively. Our cohort consisted of 2129 transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures performed at 10 hospitals. The observed readmission rate was 15.4% at 30 days and 44.2% at 1 year, with a range of 10.9% to 21.7% and 38.8% to 55.0%, respectively, across hospitals. Incorporating the competing risk of death translated into meaningful different results between models; as such, we concluded that the risk‐adjusted readmission rate was the preferred metric. On the basis of the 30‐day risk‐adjusted readmission rate, all hospitals performed as expected, with a 95% CI that included the provincial average. However, we found that there was significant variation in 1‐year risk‐adjusted readmission rate.

Conclusions — There is significant interhospital variation in 1‐year adjusted readmission rates among hospitals, suggesting that this should be a focus for quality improvement efforts in transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

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