Readmissions frequent in month after hospital discharge

January 22, 2013

Following hospitalization for heart attacks, heart failure, or pneumonia, patients are at high risk of being readmitted for a broad spectrum of medical conditions in the month following hospital discharge, research at Yale School of Medicine shows. The study appears in the Jan. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hospital readmission has garnered significant interest from patient advocates, payers such as insurance companies, and policymakers, but neither the timing nor causes of readmissions have been well described.

The authors studied older patients with traditional Medicare health insurance who were readmitted within 30 days after hospitalization for heart attacks, , or pneumonia from 2007 through 2009.

Readmissions were frequent throughout the month after hospitalization and resulted from a wide spectrum of medical conditions regardless of a patient's age, sex, or race, or the time since the patient's . In the great majority of cases, was for a medical condition that was different from the cause of initial hospitalization.

"To reduce readmissions, doctors and hospitals should design interventions that apply broadly across multiple potential medical conditions and time periods associated with rehospitalization," said lead author Kumar Dharmarajan, M.D., a visiting scholar at the Yale School of Medicine and cardiology fellow at Columbia University Medical Center. "Interventions that are specific to particular diseases or time periods may only address a fraction of patients at risk for rehospitalization. We need to be more holistic in our approach."

"We are just now recognizing that upon leaving the hospital patients may have entered a transient period of generalized risk," said senior author Harlan Krumholz, M.D., the Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (cardiology) and professor of investigative medicine and of public health (health policy); director of the Clinical Scholars Program; and director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. "Patients need to know that they are at risk for rehospitalization from a wide variety of medical conditions."

Explore further: Improved staffing cuts medicare patient readmissions

More information: JAMA. 2013;309(4):355-363

Related Stories

Improved staffing cuts medicare patient readmissions

January 4, 2013
(HealthDay)—Hospital nurses with good work environments who are caring for fewer patients have significantly fewer elderly Medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction (MI), and pneumonia who are readmitted ...

Doctors' decisions on initial hospital admissions may affect readmission rates

May 13, 2011
Researchers compared hospitalization rates and rehospitalization rates of patients admitted for heart attack and for heart failure. Heart attack admissions are considered non-discretionary, whereas, heart failure admissions ...

Overall hospital admission rates in US linked with high rates of readmission

December 14, 2011
High hospital readmission rates in different regions of the U.S. may have more to do with the overall high use of hospital services in those regions than with the severity of patients' particular conditions or problems in ...

Study finds more rehospitalization, emergency visits in patients with substance use disorders

October 10, 2011
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), people diagnosed with substance use disorders are more likely to be re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge ...

Hospital readmission rates not accurate measure of care quality

August 22, 2011
Avoidable readmissions after discharge from hospital are fairly uncommon and are not an accurate measure of quality of care, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Recommended for you

No evidence that widely marketed technique to treat leaky bladder/prolapse works

October 16, 2017
There is no scientific evidence that a workout widely marketed to manage the symptoms of a leaky bladder and/or womb prolapse actually works, conclude experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

Ten pence restaurant chain levy on sugary drinks linked to fall in sales

October 16, 2017
The introduction of a 10 pence levy on sugar sweetened drinks across the 'Jamie's Italian' chain of restaurants in the UK was associated with a relatively large fall in sales of these beverages of between 9 and 11 per cent, ...

New exercises help athletes manage dangerous breathing disorder

October 16, 2017
A novel set of breathing techniques developed at National Jewish Health help athletes overcome vocal cord dysfunction and improve performance during high-intensity exercise. Vocal cord dysfunction, now also referred to as ...

Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan, study finds

October 13, 2017
People who are overweight cut their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogramme of weight they carry, research suggests.

Blueberries may improve attention in children following double-blind trial

October 13, 2017
Primary school children could show better attention by consuming flavonoid-rich blueberries, following a study conducted by the University of Reading.

Menopause linked to changes in brain energy use

October 13, 2017
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Arizona Health Sciences have found that women's brains use less energy during the menopause. The reduction in energy use by the brain was found to be similar to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.