Shorter length of stay tied to earlier readmission for seniors

Shorter length of stay tied to earlier readmission for seniors

(HealthDay)—For older patients discharged from the hospital to post-acute care (PAC) facilities, shorter length of hospital stay is associated with earlier readmission, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Carolyn Horney, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the 2011 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases for California, Massachusetts, and Florida to define factors associated with for patients aged 65 years and older who were discharged from to a PAC facility. Significant predictors of readmission within seven days were examined.

The researchers identified 81,173 hospital readmissions from PAC facilities in the first 30-days after discharge from hospital. Readmission within the first week correlated with being older, white, urban, having fewer comorbid illnesses, and having a higher number of previous hospital admissions; patients readmitted in the first week less commonly had Medicare as a payer. The risk of early readmission was decreased with longer index hospital length of stay (odds ratio, 0.74 for length of stay four to seven days and 0.60 for length of stay at least eight days).

"Shorter length of index hospital stay is associated with earlier readmission and suggests that for this comorbid, older population, a shorter may be detrimental," the authors write.

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