Authors: Chopra V, Flanders SA, O’Malley M

PMID: 33175566 PMCID: PMC7707210 DOI: 10.7326/M20-5661


Background: Although characteristics and in-hospital outcomes for persons with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been well described, less is known about the longer-term outcomes of hospitalized patients.

Objective: To describe 60-day postdischarge clinical, financial, and mental health outcomes of patients with COVID-19.

Methods: This observational cohort study looked at patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (discharged between 16 March and 1 July 2020) at 38 hospitals participating in the MI-COVID19 initiative. The aim of MI-COVID19, a Michigan statewide collaboration sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network, is to improve care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Trained quality abstractors (often registered nurses) collect data from patient medical records using structured templates. For hospitals unable to abstract all COVID-19 hospitalizations, a sample is selected for inclusion by using a pseudo-randomization procedure (minute of hospital discharge).

At 60 days after discharge, abstractors review the medical record to collect data on clinical events, including readmission (to the index hospital or any hospital viewable in the medical record) and postdischarge death. In addition, for all patients alive and not residing in a health care or correctional facility, abstractors contact patients by telephone to complete a survey about primary care follow-up, ongoing cardiopulmonary symptoms, return to normal activity, financial impact, and emotional and mental health outcomes. At least 3 attempts are made to contact patients. The study was deemed “not regulated” by the University of Michigan institutional review board (HUM 00179611).

Findings: Of 1648 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 38 hospitals, 398 (24.2%) died during hospitalization and 1250 (75.8%) survived. Of 1250 patients discharged alive, 975 (78.0%) went home whereas 158 (12.6%) were discharged to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility (Table 1). By 60 days after discharge, an additional 84 patients (6.7% of hospital survivors and 10.4% of intensive care unit [ICU]-treated hospital survivors) had died, bringing the overall mortality rate for the cohort to 29.2%, and 63.5% for the 405 patients who received treatment in an ICU. Within 60 days of discharge, 189 patients (15.1% of hospital survivors) were rehospitalized.

Keywords: COVID-19

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