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Annals of Internal MedicineComparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates by Physician and Patient Sex

Gender-Specific Clinical Outcomes: Examining Mortality and Readmission Rates Across Physician and Patient Sex

A recent retrospective observational study leverages Medicare claims data to explore how physician sex impacts clinical outcomes such as mortality and readmission rates among hospitalized medical patients, with an emphasis on the differences observed between male and female patients. This analysis sheds light on the nuanced dynamics between patient and physician sex, contributing valuable insights into personalized healthcare approaches.

Study Design:

  • Data Source: Utilized Medicare claims data.
  • Participants: Included a 20% random sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries hospitalized with medical conditions from 2016 to 2019 and treated by hospitalists.
  • Study Type: Retrospective observational study focusing on 30-day mortality and readmission rates, with adjustments for patient and physician characteristics and hospital-level averages.

Key Findings:

  • Overall Outcome: Lower 30-day mortality and readmission rates were observed for patients treated by female physicians.
  • Impact by Patient Sex:
    • Female patients treated by female physicians showed a significant reduction in mortality rates compared to those treated by male physicians (8.15% vs. 8.38%).
    • The difference for male patients treated by female versus male physicians was smaller and statistically insignificant (10.15% vs. 10.23%).
  • Readmission Rates: Similar trends were noted in readmission rates, with female physicians associated with slightly better outcomes for both genders.

HCN Medical Memo
This study underscores the importance of understanding the interaction between physician and patient sex in clinical outcomes. For healthcare providers, recognizing these differences may guide future training and patient assignment strategies, potentially enhancing personalized care and optimizing patient outcomes.

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