What liver transplant outcomes can be expected in the uninsured who become insured via the affordable care act?

Academic Article


  • Our study objective is to measure the survival impact of insurance status following liver transplantation in a cohort of uninsured "charity care" patients. These patients are analogous to the population who will gain insurance via the Affordable Care Act. We hypothesize there will be reduced survival in charity care compared to other insurance strata. We conducted a retrospective study of 898 liver transplants from 2000 to 2010. Insurance cohorts were classified as private (n = 640), public (n = 233) and charity care (n = 23). The 1, 3 and 5-year survival was 92%, 88% and 83% in private insurance, 89%, 80% and 73% in public insurance and 83%, 72% and 51% in charity care. Compared to private insurance, multivariable regression analyses demonstrated charity care (HR 3.11, CI 1.41-6.86) and public insurance (HR 1.58, CI 1.06-2.34) had a higher 5-year mortality hazard ratio. In contrast, other measures of socioeconomic status were not significantly associated with increased mortality. The charity care cohort demonstrated the highest incidence of acute rejection and missed clinic appointments. These data suggest factors other than demographic and socioeconomic may be associated with increased mortality. Further investigations are necessary to determine causative predictors of increased mortality in liver transplant patients without private insurance. This retrospective study measures outcomes in a cohort of charity-care liver transplant recipients and demonstrates significantly higher mortality, episodes of acute rejection and missed clinic appointments compared to privately- and publicly-insured patients. © 2013 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
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    Author List

  • Glueckert LN; Redden D; Thompson MA; Haque A; Gray SH; Locke J; Eckhoff DE; Fouad M; Dubay DA
  • Start Page

  • 1533
  • End Page

  • 1540
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 6