Hospital financial distress (HFD) is a state in which a hospital is at risk of closure because of its financial condition. Hospital financial distress may reduce the services a hospital can offer, particularly unprofitable ones. Few studies have assessed the association of HFD with quality of care.Objective
To examine the association between HFD and receipt of immediate breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy among women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).Design, Setting, and Participants
This retrospective cohort study assessed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of 5760 women older than 18 years (mean [SD] age: 57.5 [13.2]) with DCIS who underwent mastectomy in 2008-2012 at hospitals categorized by financial distress. Women treated at 1156 hospitals located in 538 different counties across Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming were included. Of these, 2385 women (41.4%) underwent immediate breast reconstruction surgery. Women with invasive cancer were excluded. The database included unique hospital identification variables, and participants were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2012, to February 28, 2014.Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was the adjusted association between HFD and receipt of immediate breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy.Results
In this analysis of database information, 2385 of 5760 women (41.4%) received immediate breast reconstruction surgery. Of these, 693 (36.7%) were treated at a hospital under high HFD and received immediate breast reconstruction surgery compared with 863 (44.0%) treated at a hospital under low HFD (P < .001). Reconstruction surgery was associated with younger age, white race, private insurance, treatment at a teaching and cancer hospital, private hospital ownership, and the percentage of individuals in the county with insurance. After adjustment, women treated at hospitals under high HFD (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.62-0.99) and medium HFD (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.61-0.94) were significantly less likely to receive reconstruction than women treated at hospitals with low to no HFD.Conclusions and Relevance
The financial strength of the hospital where a patient receives treatment is associated with receipt of immediate breast reconstruction surgery. In addition to focusing on patient-related factors, efforts to improve quality should also focus on hospital-related factors.