Sepsis Among Medicare Beneficiaries: 3. The Methods, Models, and Forecasts of Sepsis, 2012-2018

Timothy G. Buchman, Steven Q. Simpson, Kimberly L. Sciarretta, Kristen P. Finne, Nicole Sowers, Michael Collier, Saurabh Chavan, Ibijoke Oke, Meghan E. Pennini, Aathira Santhosh, Marie Wax, Robyn Woodbury, Steve Chu, Tyler G. Merkeley, Gary L. Disbrow, Rick A. Bright, Thomas E. Macurdy, Jeffrey A. Kelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the impact of sepsis, age, and comorbidities on death following an acute inpatient admission and to model and forecast inpatient and skilled nursing facility costs for Medicare beneficiaries during and subsequent to an acute inpatient sepsis admission. Design: Analysis of paid Medicare claims via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services DataLink Project (CMS) and leveraging the CMS-Hierarchical Condition Category risk adjustment model. Setting: All U.S. acute care hospitals, excepting federal hospitals (Veterans Administration and Defense Health Agency). Patients: All Part A/B (fee-for-service) Medicare beneficiaries with an acute inpatient admission in 2017 and who had no inpatient sepsis admission in the prior year. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Logistic regression models to determine covariate risk contribution to death following an acute inpatient admission; conventional regression to predict Medicare beneficiary sepsis costs. Using the Hierarchical Condition Category risk adjustment model to illuminate influence of illness on outcome of inpatient admissions, representative odds ratios (with 95% CIs) for death within 6 months of an admission (referenced to beneficiaries admitted but without the characteristic) are as follows: septic shock, 7.27 (7.19-7.35); metastatic cancer and acute leukemia (Hierarchical Condition Category 8), 6.76 (6.71-6.82); all sepsis, 2.63 (2.62-2.65); respiratory arrest (Hierarchical Condition Category 83), 2.55 (2.35-2.77); end-stage liver disease (Hierarchical Condition Category 27), 2.53 (2.49-2.56); and severe sepsis without shock, 2.48 (2.45-2.51). Models of the cost of sepsis care for Medicare beneficiaries forecast arise approximately 13% over 2 years owing the rising enrollments in Medicare offset by the cost of care per admission. Conclusions: A sepsis inpatient admission is associated with marked increase in risk of death that is comparable to the risks associated with inpatient admissions for other common and serious chronic illnesses. The aggregate costs of sepsis care for Medicare beneficiaries will continue to increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-318
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • forecast
  • methods
  • models
  • sepsis


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