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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2019 June;65(2):91-4

DOI: 10.23736/S1121-421X.18.02516-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Negative payoffs of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in patients admitted under observation status

Adil MIR 1 , Rupinder MANN 1, Andrew CANAKIS 2, Steven LICHTENSTEIN 3

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Darby, PA, USA; 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA; 3 Department of Gastroenterology, Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA



BACKGROUND: More than 70 million Americans (23% of the USA population) have non-cardiac chest pain at least once in their lifetime with gastroesophageal reflux disease being the leading cause (37-66%). Current guidelines support the use of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prior to invasive or noninvasive testing as a diagnostic, therapeutic and cost-effective method as a part of High Value Care recommendations.
METHODS: We performed a chart review of 126 patients admitted to the hospital under observation status who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopies in the hospital at 3 different urban community hospitals. This was compared with 260 patients admitted who did not have this procedure done. We calculated the healthcare burden including length of stay, reimbursement and complications from the procedures/extra stay in the hospital.
RESULTS: The direct cost per case was almost two times in the group that underwent the procedure as compared to the group that did not. The mean length of stay was higher in the group that underwent the endoscopies. There were no complications and there was no difference in mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in patients with atypical chest pain of gastrointestinal origin as an initial step is a significant healthcare burden and contradicts the currently recommended High Value Care recommendations. Our study delineates this large negative financial impact when performing upper endoscopies under observation status. Such patients should be started on an empirical trial of PPI, and endoscopy should be reserved for patients whose symptoms are unresponsive to PPIs or have alarm features.


KEY WORDS: Endoscopy - Gastroesophageal reflux - Chest pain

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