Mortality After Critical Illness Higher in Older Adults with Medicaid Insurance

A first-of-its-kind study found that mortality in the first year after critical illness is higher among older adults with Medicaid insurance compared to those with Medicare and additional commercial insurance, especially among those discharged to skilled-care facilities.

A first-of-its-kind study found that mortality in the first year after critical illness is higher among older adults with Medicaid insurance compared to those with Medicare and additional commercial insurance, especially among those discharged to skilled-care facilities.

The study, presented at the 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego, should prompt future investigations into care disparities at skilled-care facilities that may mediate higher mortality rates observed among the poor older survivors of critical illness.

“Our most significant finding was that poor older adults with Medicaid insurance who receive treatment for a critical illness in the ICU are more likely to die after hospital discharge when compared to those with commercial insurance,” lead author, Yoland Philpotts, MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said. “This was true even after taking into account differences in pre-existing health conditions and the severity of critical illness.”