Severe cases of COVID-19 have overwhelmed hospital systems across the nation. This study aimed to describe the healthcare resource utilization of patients with COVID-19 from hospital visit to 30 days after discharge for inpatients and hospital-based outpatients in the United States.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted using Premier Healthcare Database COVID-19 Special Release, a large geographically diverse all-payer hospital administrative database. Adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) were identified by their first, or “index,” visit between April 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, with a principal or secondary discharge diagnosis of COVID-19.
Of 1 454 780 adult patients with COVID-19, 33% (n = 481 216) were inpatients and 67% (n = 973 564) were outpatients. Among inpatients, mean age was 64.4 years and comorbidities were common. Most patients (80%) originated from home, 10% from another acute care facility, and 95% were admitted through the emergency department. Of these patients, 23% (n = 108 120) were admitted to intensive care unit and 14% (n = 66 706) died during index hospitalization; 44% were discharged home, 15% to nursing or rehabilitation facility, and 12% to home health. Among outpatients, mean age was 48.8 years, 44% were male, and 60% were emergency department outpatients (n = 586 537). During index outpatient visit, 79% were sent home but 10% had another outpatient visit and 4% were hospitalized within 30 days.
COVID-19 is associated with high level of healthcare resource utilization and in-hospital mortality. More than one-third of inpatients required post hospital healthcare services. Such information may help healthcare providers better allocate resources for patients with COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Rena C. Moon Harold Brown Ning Rosenthal