Objective: To compare the management and survival of elderly patients hospitalized with syncope in 2 healthcare delivery systems. Study design: Retrospective cohort. Patients and methods: Using hospitalization records from Medicare and a group-model health maintenance organization (HMO) in Oregon, we identified individuals with an admission or discharge diagnosis of syncope between 1992 and 1994. Among patients 65 years or older (median age = 79 years), we randomly selected a sample of the standard Medicare patients (primarily fee-for-service; n = 473) and all of the group-model HMO patients (n = 583). Use of inpatient testing and consultation was ascertained by chart review; all-cause mortality was obtained from the National Death Index. Results: Median diagnostic testing and consultation costs were the same (P = .35) in the standard Medicare population ($643) and the HMO population ($619), although the use of specific tests differed. More cardiovascular syncope was identified in the Medicare population (23% vs 18%; P = .02). Inpatient, 30-day, 1-year, and 4-year mortality rates were higher in the Medicare population (1.7%, 3.8%, 16.7%, and 50.6% respectively) than in the HMO population (0.7%, 1.5%, 13.2%, and 41.8%). After adjusting for age, gender, comorbidity, diagnostic testing, and administrative factors, the relative risk (RR) of dying was lower for group-model HMO patients (RR = 0.74; 95% confidence interval = 0.60, 0.91) than for standard Medicare patients (RR = 1.0). Conclusions: The inpatient management of these elderly patients with syncope was similar in the group-model HMO and standard Medicare settings, but survival was better for the individuals in the HMO. The reason for the differential survival is not obvious and warrants additional study.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Journal of Managed Care|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy