To examine and describe the relation between age and disposition in patients undergoing tracheostomy.
Retrospective analysis of a statewide database.
All acute care hospitals in New York state.
All patients (n = 6,353) > or = 18 yrs of age who were discharged from the hospital during 1993 with a final diagnosis-related groups code of 483.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
The final disposition, according to six disposition codes (other acute care facility, residential healthcare facility, other healthcare facility, home, home healthcare services, and death) was examined for the entire population. Cost per case was assumed to equal the average statewide Medicaid rate. An inverse relation between survival rate and age was observed, which resulted in an age-related increased cost per survivor. Also, survivors in older age groups had an increased rate of discharge to residential healthcare facilities. There was a negative, albeit less marked, effect of older age on the rates of survivors discharged to home and to other healthcare facilities.
Care of patients who undergo tracheostomy for prolonged mechanical ventilation is expensive. The older the patient, the less satisfactory the outcome from an economic, clinical, and possibly social perspective.