The excess costs of hospitalization for acute stroke in people with communication impairment: A stroke123 data linkage substudy
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Objective: To describe the costs of hospital care for acute stroke for patients with aphasia or dysarthria. Design: Observational study from the Stroke123 project. Setting: Data from patients admitted with stroke (2009-2013) from 22 hospitals in Queensland participating in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) were linked to administrative datasets. Participants: Communication impairments were identified using International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Australian Modification codes. Overall, 1043 of 4195 (25%) patients were identified with aphasia (49% were women; median age 78 years; 83% with ischemic stroke), and 1005 (24%) with dysarthria (42% were women; median age 76 years; 85% with ischemic stroke). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Linked patient-level, hospital clinical costing related to the stroke, were adjusted to 2013/2014 Australian dollars (AU$, US$ conversion x 0.691) using recommended national price indices and multivariable regression analysis with clustering by hospital performed. Results: Compared with patients without aphasia, the median hospital costs/patient were greater for those with aphasia for medical (aphasia AU$2273 vs AU$1727, P < .001), nursing (aphasia AU$3829 vs AU$2748, P < .001) and allied health services (aphasia AU$1138 vs AU$720, P < .001). Similarly, costs were greater for patients with dysarthria compared with those without dysarthria. Adjusted median total costs were AU$2882 greater for patients with aphasia compared with patients without aphasia (95% confidence interval, AU$1880-3884), and AU$843 greater for patients with dysarthria compared with those without dysarthria (95% confidence interval, AU$–301 to 1987). Conclusions: People with communication impairment after stroke incur greater hospital costs, in particular for medical, allied health, and nursing resources.