Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1920–1927 | Cite as

Specific Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group Codes Increase the Predictability of 30-Day Unplanned Hospital Readmission After Pancreaticoduodenectomy

  • Dimitrios Xourafas
  • Katiuscha Merath
  • Gaya Spolverato
  • Stanley W. Ashley
  • Jordan M. Cloyd
  • Timothy M. PawlikEmail author
Original Article



The Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group coding system (MS-DRG) is routinely used by hospitals for reimbursement purposes following pancreatic surgery. We aimed to determine whether specific pancreatectomy MS-DRG codes, when combined with distinct clinicopathologic and perioperative characteristics, increased the accuracy of predicting 30-day readmission after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD).


Demographic, clinicopathologic, and perioperative factors were compared between readmitted and non-readmitted patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital following PD. Different pancreatectomy DRG codes, currently used for reimbursement purposes [407: without complication/co-morbidity (CC), 406: with CC, and 405: with major CC] were combined with clinical factors to assess their predictability of readmission. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to evaluate outcomes.


Among 354 patients who underwent PD between 2010 and 2017, 69 (19%) were readmitted. The incidence of readmission was 13, 32, and 55% for patients with assigned DRG codes 407, 406, and 405, respectively (P = 0.0395). Readmitted patients were more likely to have had T4 disease (P = 0.0007), a vascular resection (P = 0.0078), and longer operative times (P = 0.012). On multivariable analysis, combining DRG 407 with relevant clinicopathologic factors was unable to predict readmission. In contrast, DRG 406 code among patients with N positive disease (P = 0.0263) and LOS > 10 days (P = 0.0505) was associated with readmission. DRG 405, preoperative obstructive jaundice (OR: 7.5, CI: 1.5–36, P = 0.0130), vascular resection (OR: 7.7, CI: 1.1–51, P = 0.0336), N positive stage of disease (OR: 0.2, CI: 0–0.9, P = 0.0447), and operative time > 410 min (OR: 5.9, CI: 1–32, P = 0.0399) were each strongly associated with 30-day readmission after PD [likelihood ratio (LR) < 0.0001].


Distinct pancreatectomy MS-DRG classification codes (405), combined with relevant clinicopathologic and perioperative characteristics, strongly predicted 30-day readmission after PD. DRG classification algorithms can be implemented to more accurately identify patients at a higher risk of readmission.


Pancreaticoduodenectomy Readmission Predictors Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) codes 


Author’s Contribution

D. Xourafas, K. Merath, G. Spolverato, S. W. Ashley, J. M. Cloyd, and T. M. Pawlik have contributed to the design, analysis, interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript and are accountable for all aspects of the work. D. Xourafas, K. Merath, G. Spolverato, S. W. Ashley, J. M. Cloyd, and T. M. Pawlik have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryWexner Medical Center At The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of Surgery, The Urban Meyer III and Shelley Meyer Chair for Cancer Research, Professor of Surgery, Oncology, Health Services Management and PolicyThe Ohio State University, Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA

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