Care Transitions after Acute Myocardial Infarction for Transferred-In Versus Direct-Arrival Patients

Amit N. Vora, Eric D. Peterson, Anne S. Hellkamp, Nadia R. Sutton, Edward Panacek, Laine Thomas, James A de Lemos, Tracy Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background-Many patients in the United States require transfer from one hospital to another for acute myocardial infarction (MI) care. How well these transferred-in patients are transitioned back to their local community is unknown. Methods and Results-We used linked Medicare claims data to examine postdischarge outcomes of 39 136 patients with acute MI aged ≥65 years discharged alive from 451 US hospitals in Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network Registry-Get With the Guidelines. Multivariable Cox modeling was used to compare the likelihood of outpatient clinic follow-up and risks of all-cause mortality and all-cause or cardiovascular readmission at 30 days post MI between transferred-in and direct-arrival patients. From 2007 to 2010, 14 060 of 39 136 patients (36%) required interhospital transfer for acute MI care, traveling a median of 43 miles (interquartile range, 27-68 miles; 77.6 km [interquartile range, 48.2-122.6 km]). Compared with those arriving directly, transferred-in patients with MI were slightly younger (median age, 73 versus 74; P<0.01) but less likely to have previous MI, heart failure, and previous revascularization than direct-arrival patients. Relative to direct-arrival patients, those transferred-in had a lower likelihood of outpatient follow-up within 30 days post discharge (risk-adjusted incidence, 69.9% versus 78.2%; hazard ratio [HR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.92) and higher adjusted 30-day all-cause and cardiovascular readmission risks (14.5% versus 14.0%; HRall-cause, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.15 and 9.5% versus 9.1%; HRcardiovascular, 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.22). In contrast, risk-adjusted 30-day mortality was similar between transferred-in and direct arrivals (1.6% versus 1.6%; HR, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-1.27). Conclusions-Transferred-in patients with acute MI are less likely to have outpatient clinic follow-up within 30 days and more likely to be readmitted within the first 30 days post discharge compared with direct-arrival patients. These results indicate room for improvement in the safe and seamless transition of care for transferred patients with MI traveling back to their home environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • health services accessibility
  • myocardial infarction
  • patient readmission
  • patient transfer
  • point-of-care systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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