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Impact of Insurance Status and Race on Outcomes in Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

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Background and Goals:

We examined the interaction between race, insurance, and important outcomes in nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (NVUGIH).


Adults with NVUGIH were selected from the National Inpatient Sample. Primary outcome: in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes: treatment modalities [esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), early EGD, and endoscopic or radiologic therapy], and resource utilization (length of hospital stay and total hospitalization charges).


Mortality was similar for Medicare and private insurance [adjusted odds ratios (aOR): 1.15 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90 to 1.47), P=0.24], but higher for under/uninsured patients [aOR: 1.84 (CI: 1.42 to 2.40), P<0.01]. Compared with Medicare, patients with private insurance had more EGDs [aOR: 1.35 (CI: 1.23 to 1.48), P<0.01], early EGDs [aOR: 1.29 (CI: 1.21 to 1.38), P<0.01], and endoscopic [aOR: 1.19 (CI: 1.11 to 1.27), P<0.01], or radiologic therapy [aOR:1.35 (CI: 1.06 to 1.71), P=0.01]. Patients who were under/uninsured had less EGDs [aOR: 0.84 (CI: 0.76 to 0.91), P<0.01] or endoscopic therapy [aOR: 0.74 (CI: 0.68 to 0.81), P<0.01], but similar odds of early EGD [aOR: 0.95 (CI: 0.88 to 1.02), P=0.13] or radiologic therapy [aOR: 1.01 (CI: 0.75 to 1.37), P=0.75]. Compared with whites, blacks had lower [aOR: 0.73 (CI: 0.58 to 0.93), P=0.01] and Native Americans higher mortality [aOR: 2.60 (CI: 1.57 to 4.13), P<0.01]. Blacks were less likely [aOR: 0.86 (CI: 0.79 to 0.94), P<0.01] and Asians more likely [aOR: 1.24 (CI: 1.05 to 1.47), P=0.01] to have EGDs. Both blacks and Hispanics had lower, whereas Asians had higher early EGD rates. Patients with private insurance had lower total charges [adjusted mean difference: −$2761 (CI: −$4617 to −$906), P<0.01].


Insurance and race have independent effects on NVUGIH mortality, therapeutic modalities used, and resource utilization. Black and under/uninsured patients have the worst outcomes.
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Keywords: insurance; mortality; nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage; outcomes; race; resource utilization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Catalyst Medical Consulting, Simpsonville, SC 2: Department of Gastroenterology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 3: Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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