Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 163–172 | Cite as

Patient Co-Morbidity and Functional Status Influence the Occurrence of Hospital Acquired Conditions More Strongly than Hospital Factors

  • Zhobin Moghadamyeghaneh
  • Michael J. Stamos
  • Lygia StewartEmail author
2018 SSAT Plenary Presentation



Never events (NE) and hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) are used by Medicare/Medicaid Services to define hospital performance measures that dictate payments/penalties. Pre-op patient comorbidity may significantly influence HAC development.


We studied 8,118,615 patients from the NIS database (2002–2012) who underwent upper/lower gastrointestinal and/or hepatopancreatobiliary procedures. Multivariate analysis, using logistic regression, was used to identify HAC and NE risk factors.


A total of 63,762 (0.8%) HAC events and 1645 (0.02%) NE were reported. A total of 99.9% of NE were retained foreign body. Most frequent HAC were: pressure ulcer stage III/IV (36.7%), poor glycemic control (26.9%), vascular catheter-associated infection (20.3%), and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (13.7%). Factors correlating with HAC included: open surgical approach (AOR: 1.25, P < 0.01), high-risk patients with significant comorbidity [severe loss function pre-op (AOR: 6.65, P < 0.01), diabetes with complications (AOR: 2.40, P < 0.01), paraplegia (AOR: 3.14, P < 0.01), metastatic cancer (AOR: 1.30, P < 0.01), age > 70 (AOR: 1.09, P < 0.01)], hospital factors [small vs. large (AOR: 1.07, P < 0.01), non-teaching vs teaching (AOR: 1.10, P < 0.01), private profit vs. non-profit/governmental (AOR: 1.20, P < 0.01)], severe preoperative mortality risk (AOR: 3.48, P < 0.01), and non-elective admission (AOR: 1.38, P < 0.01). HAC were associated with increased: hospitalization length (21 vs 7 days, P < 0.01), hospital charges ($164,803 vs $54,858, P < 0.01), and mortality (8 vs 3%, AOR: 1.14, P < 0.01).


HAC incidence was highest among patients with severe comorbid conditions. While small, non-teaching, and for-profit hospitals had increased HAC, the strongest HAC risks were non-modifiable patient factors (preoperative loss function, diabetes, paraplegia, advanced age, etc.). This data questions the validity of using HAC as hospital performance measures, since hospitals caring for these complex patients would be unduly penalized. CMS should consider patient comorbidity as a crucial factor influencing HAC development.


Hospital-acquired conditions Comorbidity Functional status Hospital factors Gastrointestinal surgery 


Author’s Contribution

Moghadamyeghaneh Z: Conceived and designed the analysis; collected the data; contributed data or analysis tools; performed the analysis; wrote the paper, approval of final version, accountable for all aspects of the work.

Stamos MJ: Contributed to design of analysis, critical revision, edited paper, approval of final version.

Stewart L: Conceived and designed the analysis, critical revision, co-wrote and edited paper, approval of final version, accountable for all aspects of the work.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaCAUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgerySan Francisco VA Medical CenterCAUSA

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