The influence of payor status on outcomes associated with surgical repair of upper gastrointestinal perforations due to peptic ulcer disease in the United States

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Center for Microbiome Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Health Economics | Insurance | Surgery | Surgical Procedures, Operative | Translational Medical Research


BACKGROUND: An association between lack of insurance and inferior outcomes has been well described for a number of surgical emergencies, yet little is known about the relationship of payor status and outcomes of patients undergoing emergent surgical repair for upper gastrointestinal (UGI) perforations. We evaluated the association of payor status and in-hospital mortality for patients undergoing emergency surgery for UGI perforations in the United States.

METHODS: Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried to identify patients between 18 and 64 years of age who underwent emergent (open or laparoscopic) repair for UGI perforations secondary to peptic ulcer disease (2010-2014). Primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were major and minor postoperative complications. The main predictor outcome was insurance status (Private, Medicaid, Uninsured). Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were performed. Data were weighted to provide national estimates.

RESULTS: 21,005 patients underwent surgical repair for UGI perforations. Patients with private insurance represented the largest payor group (47%). After adjustment of other factors, payor status was not a statistically significant predictor of in-hospital mortality (Medicaid vs. Private: [OR] 1.1; 95% [CI] 0.67-1.81; Uninsured vs. Private: OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.52-1.61). However, payor status remained a statistically significant predictor of major postoperative complications (Medicaid vs. Private [OR] 1.4; 95% CI 1.1, 1.8; Uninsured vs. Private [OR]1.2, 95% CI 0.9, 1.5) and minor postoperative complications (Medicaid vs. Private [OR] 1.4; 95% CI 1.1, 1.9; Uninsured vs. Private [OR]1.2, 95% CI 0.9, 1.6).

CONCLUSIONS: Emergency surgery for UGI perforations is associated with high mortality and morbidity across all payor classes; however, Medicaid is a predictor for both major and minor postoperative complications. Preventing perforation through preventative measures will be key to reducing the burden of peptic ulcer disease across all populations.


Emergency general surgery, Insurance, Outcomes, Peptic ulcer disease, Upper gastrointestinal perforations, UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Am J Surg. 2019 Jan;217(1):121-125. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.06.025. Epub 2018 Jul 2. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of surgery

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID