It’s A Good Thing, Then, We Pay Infectious Disease Specialists So Much

Ha! We make the funny (boldface mine):

Sjoding and colleagues sought to examine changes in the composition of patients admitted to the ICU by describing the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, and outcomes of patients admitted to critical care units in US hospitals over time.

The authors examined 27.8 million elderly (age > 64 years) Medicare beneficiaries who required ICU care between 1996 and 2010. They noted declines in admissions with a primary diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure) and an increase in infectious diseases with explicitly labeled sepsis, increasing from the 11th-ranked diagnosis in 1996 to the top-ranked primary discharge diagnosis in 2010. Crude in-hospital mortality rose from 11.3% to 12.0%, and there was an increase in discharges to hospice and post-acute care facilities.

The authors concluded that primary diagnoses of elderly ICU patients have changed over the past 15 years, with a shift from cardiovascular care to infectious diseases.

In reality, infectious disease is the lowest paid speciality, and is having a hard time recruiting new residents.

So nothing could possibly go wrong as infectious disease becomes the primary reason for the admission of elderly patients.

We might have a health insurance system, albeit a shitty one, but calling this a healthcare system strains credulity.

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