TrendLens December 7, 2017: Data Defining Readmissions Prior To 30-Days

Lisa Remington

Welcome to TrendLens…trends bending the curve in home health and post-acute care. In this issue of TrendLens, we focus on readmission data at 7-days and 30-days. Is 30-days the best analysis for readmissions? Does data for specific medical conditions tell us different information about 30-day readmissions? We provide insights for you to explore your own data. 

Lisa Remington, President, Remington Health Strategy Group

Should Your Organization Be Looking At Readmissions Prior To 30-Days?

Is 30-days the right interval for your organization to be measuring readmissions? 30-day risk-standardized, all-cause, unplanned readmission rates is widely used to measure hospital penalties.

A recent study of  66,741,340 hospital discharge records examined risk-standardized 30-day risk of unplanned inpatient readmission at the hospital level for Medicare patients ages sixty-five and older in four states and for three conditions: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. The states: Arizona, California, Florida, and New York.

For all three specific medical conditions, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia, readmissions dropped rapidly from 2.7 percent (acute myocardial infarction), 1.6 percent (heart failure), and 3.2 percent (pneumonia) on the first day after discharge, to less than 1.0 percent (all three conditions) by day four, reaching a minimum of 0.8 percent or less at seven days after discharge. See Exhibit 1.