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Stroke Care Disparities in US Military Healthcare

J Neurolog Sci; ePub 2018 Jan 17; Blattner, et al

When it comes to stroke care, higher military ranks (higher socioeconomic status [SES]) had shorter hospitalization stays, higher costs, and less in-hospital mortality in the military's universal healthcare system, a recent study found. This suggests aggregate characteristics of SES plays a large role in the outcomes among SES groups. Data were collected from the military health care system (MHS) database from 2010 through 2015. All admissions to military health care facilities with a primary diagnosis of ischemic stroke were reviewed. Military rank was compared for primary outcomes of: disposition (in-hospital mortality and discharge destination setting) and IV tPA administration and for secondary outcomes of total cost of hospitalization and length of hospital stay (LOS). Military rank was identified with 1,895 (52.3%) of the 3,623 admissions. Researchers found that lower SES group/ranks were more likely to have poor discharge destination setting while the highest SES group/ranks had lower rates of in-hospital mortality, shorter LOS, and higher hospitalization costs after controlling for relevant variables.


Blattner M, Price J, Holtkamp MD. Socioeconomic class and universal healthcare: Analysis of stroke cost and outcomes in US military healthcare. [Published online ahead of print January 17, 2018]. J Neurolog Sci. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.018.

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