Hospital care may not affect the risk of readmission

Tricia Johnson, Jaydeep Bardhan, Richard Odwazny, Brian Harting, Kimberly Skarupski, Robert McNutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Thirty-day readmissions have become a focal point for reducing health care spending, because they are viewed as a marker of the quality of hospital care. However, if increased time in the hospital is associated with better care, attempts to shorten length of stay (LOS) may result in increased rates of readmission. As such, we sought to explore the association of an incremental added day in LOS with the rate of readmission. Methods: We examined the rate of readmission at 30 and 120 days for 4151 patients admitted to a general internal medicine unit between July 2004 and March 2006. We used binary logistic regression to examine the relationship between an incremental added day in LOS and the probability of readmission. Results: Readmission rates were 8.7% at 30 days and 21.0% at 120 days, respectively. After controlling for demographic characteristics and severity of illness, we found that the probability of readmission varied little for an incremental added day in LOS. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that more hospital care may not affect the likelihood of readmission and thus denying payment for readmission may be unwarranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalQuality management in health care
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • hospital care
  • length of hospital stay
  • readmissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning

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