One often overlooked influence on hospital readmission rates is the degree to which communities have an over-reliance on acute care institutions as sites of care, according to researchers at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. Researchers find that 49% of variation in 30-day readmission rates for medical hospitalization can be explained by an institution’s medical discharge rate. A similar 47% of variation in readmission rates after surgical hospitalization is also attributed to a hospital’s medical discharge rate. “Communities and health systems that have higher underlying admissions rates, suggesting they are more likely to rely on the hospital as a site of care in general, tend to have higher readmission rates,” according to researchers.
The Revolving Door: A Report on U.S. Hospital Readmissions includes the work of Dartmouth researchers as well as narratives derived from interviews with patients and care givers by PerryUndem Research and Communications. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation publication is available at www.rwjf.org.