30-Day Mortality and Readmission After Hemorrhagic Stroke Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center-Certified and Noncertified Hospitals

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Background and Purpose—

Ischemic stroke patients treated at Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center (JC-PSC)-certified hospitals have better outcomes. Data reflecting the impact of JC-PSC status on outcomes after hemorrhagic stroke are limited. We determined whether 30-day mortality and readmission rates after hemorrhagic stroke differed for patients treated at JC-PSC–certified versus noncertified hospitals.


The study included all fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older with a primary discharge diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in 2006. Covariate-adjusted logistic and Cox proportional hazards regression assessed the effect of care at a JC-PSC–certified hospital on 30-day mortality and readmission.


There were 2305 SAH and 8708 ICH discharges from JC-PSC–certified hospitals and 3892 SAH and 22 564 ICH discharges from noncertified hospitals. Unadjusted in-hospital mortality (SAH: 27.5% versus 33.2%, P<0.0001; ICH: 27.9% versus 29.6%, P=0.003) and 30-day mortality (SAH: 35.1% versus 44.0%, P<0.0001; ICH: 39.8% versus 42.4%, P<0.0001) were lower in JC-PSC hospitals, but 30-day readmission rates were similar (SAH: 17.0% versus 17.0%, P=0.97; ICH: 16.0% versus 15.5%, P=0.29). Risk-adjusted 30-day mortality was 34% lower (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.58–0.76) after SAH and 14% lower (odds ratio, 0.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.80–0.92) after ICH for patients discharged from JC-PSC–certified hospitals. There was no difference in 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rates for SAH or ICH based on JC-PSC status.


Patients treated at JC-PSC–certified hospitals had lower risk-adjusted mortality rates for both SAH and ICH but similar 30-day readmission rates as compared with noncertified hospitals.

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