Resources and Costs Associated With Repeated Admissions to PICUs


Resources and Costs Associated With Repeated Admissions to PICUs


Kane JM; Hall M; Cecil C; Montgomery VL; Rakes LC; Rogerson C; Stockwell JA; Slain KN; Goodman DM


Critical Care Explorations




pediatric; intensive care units; healthcare costs; patient readmission


Objective:  To determine the costs and hospital resource use from all PICU patients readmitted with a PICU stay within 12 months of hospital index discharge. Design:  Cross-sectional, retrospective cohort study using Pediatric Health Information System. Setting:  Fifty-two tertiary children’s hospitals. Subjects:  Pediatric patients under 18 years old admitted to the PICU from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2017. Interventions:  None. Measurements and Main Results:  Patient characteristics and costs of care were compared between those with readmission requiring PICU care and those with only a single PICU admission per annum. In this 2-year cohort, there were 239,157 index PICU patients of which 36,970 (15.5%) were readmitted and required PICU care during the 12 months following index admission. The total hospital cost for all index admissions and readmissions was $17.3 billion, of which 21.5% ($3.71 billion) were incurred during a readmission stay involving care in the PICU; of the 3,459,079 hospital days, 20.3% (702,200) were readmission days including those where PICU care was required. Of the readmitted patients, 11,703 (30.0%) received only PICU care, accounting for $662 million in costs and 110,215 PICU days. Although 43.6% of all costs were associated with patients who required readmission, these patients only accounted for 15.5% of the index patients and 28% of index hospitalization expenditures. More patients in the readmitted group had chronic complex conditions at index discharge compared with those not readmitted (83.9% vs 54.9%; p < 0.001). Compared with those discharged directly to home without home healthcare, patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility had 18% lower odds of readmission (odds ratio 0.82 [95% CI, 0.75–0.89]; p < 0.001) and those discharged home with home healthcare had 43% higher odds of readmission (odds ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.36–1.51]; p < 0.001). Conclusions:  Repeated admissions with PICU care resulted in significant direct medical costs and resource use for U.S. children’s hospitals.


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Kane JM; Hall M; Cecil C; Montgomery VL; Rakes LC; Rogerson C; Stockwell JA; Slain KN; Goodman DM, “Resources and Costs Associated With Repeated Admissions to PICUs,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 5, 2023,