Underinsurance And Multiple Surgical Treatments for Kidney Stones

Published:September 25, 2022DOI:


      To further elucidate the relationship between low socioeconomic status (SES) and larger, more complex stones requiring staged surgical interventions. Specifically, we aimed to determine if underinsurance (Medicaid, Medicare, and self-pay insurance types) is associated with multiple surgeries within 1 year.


      We performed a retrospective longitudinal analysis of prospectively collected data from the California statewide Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) dataset. We included adult patients who had their first recorded kidney stone encounter between 2009 and 2018 and underwent at least 1 urologic stone procedure. We followed these patients within the dataset for one year after their initial surgery to assess for factors predicting multiple surgical treatments for stones.


      A total of 156,319 adults were included in the study. The proportions of individuals in private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and self-pay/indigent groups differed by the presence or absence of additional surgeries (64.0%, 13.5%, 19.4%, and 0.1%, vs 70.3%, 10.1%, 16.6%, and 0.1%, respectively). Compared to private insurance, Medicaid (1.46 [1.40-1.53] P < .001) and Medicare (1.15 [1.10-1.20] P < .001) insurance types were associated with significantly greater odds of multiple surgeries, whereas no significant association was seen in the self-pay/indigent insurance type (1.35 [0.83-2.19], P = 1.0).


      In a statewide, California database from 2009 to 2018, underinsured adults had higher odds of undergoing a second procedure for kidney stones within 1 year of initial surgical treatment. This study adds to the expanding body of literature linking suboptimal healthcare access and disparate outcomes for kidney stone patients.
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