An analysis of homeless patients in the United States requiring ICU admission

Brian H. Nathanson*, Thomas L. Higgins, Mihaela Stefan, Tara Lagu, Peter K. Lindenauer, Jay S. Steingrub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess how homelessness impacts mortality and length of stay (LOS) among select the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Methods: We used ICD-9 code V60.0 to identify homeless patients using the Premier Perspective Database from January 2010 to June 2011. We identified three subpopulations who received critical care services using ICD-9 and Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRG) codes: patients with a diagnosis of sepsis who were treated with antibiotics by Day 2, patients with an alcohol or drug related MS-DRG, and patients with a diabetes related MS-DRG. We used multivariable logistic regression to predict mortality and multivariable generalized estimating equations to predict hospital and ICU LOS. Results: 781,540 hospitalizations met inclusion criteria; 2278 (0.3%) were homeless. We found homelessness had no significant adjusted association with mortality among sepsis patients, but was associated with substantially longer hospital LOS: (3.7 days longer; 95% CI (1.7, 5.7, p <.001). LOS did not differ in the Diabetes or Alcohol and Drug related DRG groups. Conclusions: Critically ill homeless patients with sepsis had longer hospital LOS but similar ICU LOS and mortality risk compared to non-homeless patients. Homelessness was not associated with increased LOS in the diabetes or alcohol and drug related groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholism
  • Critical care outcomes
  • Critical illness
  • Diabetes complications
  • Homelessness
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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