Background: Osteoporotic fractures frequently require inpatient care, and are associated with elevated risks of morbidity, mortality, and re-hospitalization. A comprehensive evaluation of healthcare costs, resource utilization, and outcomes associated with osteoporosis (OP)-related fractures treated in US hospitals was undertaken.
Methods: A retrospective analysis using the Premier Perspective Database (2010 − 2013) was conducted. Study population comprised patients aged ≥ 50 years hospitalized with a principal diagnosis of a closed or pathologic fracture commonly associated with OP; the first qualifying hospitalization was designated the “index admission”. Patients with evidence of major trauma, malignancy, or other non-OP conditions that may lead to pathologic fracture during the index admission were excluded. Study measures included healthcare costs (in 2013 USD), length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit (ICU) use, and mortality during the index admission, as well as 60-day fracture-related readmission.
Results: A total of 268,477 patients were admitted to hospital (n = 548 hospitals) with a principal diagnosis of an OP-related fracture; mean (SD) age was 78 (11) years, 75% were female, 69% had ≥ 2 comorbidities, and 82% of patients had a diagnostic code for accidental fall. Among all OP-related fracture admissions, mean (95% CI) hospital cost was $12,839 (12,784–12,893) and LOS was 5.1 (5.1–5.1) days; during the admission, ICU use was 7.4% (7.3–7.5) and mortality was 1.5% (1.5–1.6), and during the 60-day post-discharge period, fracture-related readmission was 2.3% (2.2–2.4).
Conclusions: Hospital costs associated with the acute treatment of OP-related fractures are substantial, especially among patients with fractures of the hip, femur, and spine. Among patients with vertebral fractures—the second most common reason for admission—mortality and ICU use were notably high, and costs and LOS were higher than among those with non-vertebral fractures (excluding hip). Interventions that are effective in reducing fracture risk have the potential to yield substantial cost savings.