To assess patient characteristics associated with adverse outcomes in the first 2 years following tracheostomy, and to report healthcare utilization and cost of caring for these children.

Study Design

Retrospective cohort study.


Children (0–16 years) in Medicaid from 10 states undergoing tracheostomy in 2009, identified with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification procedure codes and followed through 2011, were selected using the Truven Health Medicaid Marketscan Database (Truven Health Analytics, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI). Patient demographic and clinical characteristics were assessed with likelihood of death and tracheostomy complication using chi-square tests and logistic regression. Healthcare use and spending across the care continuum (hospital, outpatient, community, and home) were reported.


A total of 502 children underwent tracheostomy in 2009, with 34.1% eligible for Medicaid because of disability. Median age at tracheostomy was 8 years (interquartile range 1–16 years), and 62.7% had a complex chronic condition. Two-year rates of in-hospital mortality and tracheostomy complication were 8.9% and 38.8%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, the highest likelihood of mortality occurred in children age < 1 year compared with 13+ years (odds ratio [OR] 7.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.2–17.1); the highest likelihood of tracheostomy complication was in children with a complex chronic condition versus those without a complex chronic condition (OR 3.3; 95% CI, 1.1–9.9). Total healthcare spending in the 2 years following tracheostomy was $53.3 million, with hospital, home, and primary care constituting 64.4%, 9.4%, and 0.5% of total spending, respectively.


Mortality and morbidity are high, and spending on primary and home care is small following tracheostomy in children with Medicaid. Future studies should assess whether improved outpatient and community care might improve their health outcomes.

Level of Evidence

4. Laryngoscope, 2016

Get the full article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lary.25972/full