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Hospital readmission studies: Influencing factors identified
Date:10/12/2010

In two studies published today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the risk factors for readmission to the hospital are examined based upon general medicine inpatients and those with at least two admissions in a six-month period. Alongside clinical factors such as having cancer, chronic diseases such as heart failure or lung disease, or being on high-risk medications, the studies identified other factors which increase the likelihood of a patient being readmitted which could help hospitalists focus in on these groups.

In the first study, Nazima Allaudeen, MD, and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), looked at the factors behind unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days which occurs in nearly one in five Medicare patients in the US. The study involved patients admitted to UCSF hospitals between June 2006 and May 2008; 6,805 unique patients for a total of 10,359 admissions. 17% of admissions were readmitted within thirty days, with almost half of these (49.7%) occurring within 10 days.

Of the sociodemographic factors, African-American race and Medicaid as payer status were associated with readmission, with a 43% and 15% increased risk of readmission respectively after adjustment for other variables. Of the clinical factors, high-risk medications and six comorbidities (congestive heart failure, renal disease, cancer (with and without metastasis), weight loss, and iron deficiency anemia) were associated with readmission.

The study also examined operational factors, such as weekend discharge or admission source, but none were significantly associated with readmission.

"The US spends over $15 billion in Medicare on readmissions to hospital within 30 days and readmissions are also distressing to patients and their caregivers," said Allaudeen, now based at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, California. "Many healthcare systems are now making efforts to improve the transition from hospital
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Contact: Jennifer Beal
healthnews@wiley.com
44-124-377-0633
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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