Early Primary Care Follow Up May Reduce Readmissions For High Risk Surgery Patients

Benjamin S. Brooke, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Vascular Surgery University of Utah School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Benjamin S. Brooke, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery
University of Utah School of Medicine

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Brooke: This study was designed to evaluate whether high-risk surgical patients who visit a primary care provider (PCP) during the early period following hospital discharge are less likely to be readmitted within 30-days.  We examined this question by performing a retrospective cohort analysis of Medicare beneficiaries (2003-2010) who underwent a high risk surgery (open thoracic aortic aneurysm repair) as well as a control group of patients who underwent a lower risk surgical procedure (open ventral hernia repair), and then determining whether there was evidence of early PCP follow-up.

In risk-adjusted analyses, we found that early primary care provider-follow-up was associated with a significant lower likelihood of 30-day readmission for high-risk patients undergoing open thoracic aortic aneurysm repair, particularly if a post-operative complication had occurred.  In comparison, early primary care provider follow-up did not have a significant effect on lowering readmissions in uncomplicated patients and those undergoing lower-risk operations such as ventral hernia repair.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Brooke: These findings suggest that improving coordination of care between the surgical team and patients outpatient PCPs may provide an opportunity to reduce 30-day readmissions for high-risk surgical patients.  Patients who suffer post-operative complications or have other risk factors for readmission following complex surgery should be scheduled for early PCP follow-up at the time of hospital discharge.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Brooke: The findings of this study suggest that future research needs to focus more closely on the post-discharge care of surgical patients as a strategy for improving outcomes.


Abstract 193: Primary Care Utilization Reduces Risk of Readmission among High-Risk Vascular Surgery Patients: Coordinating of Post-Discharge Care Matters



Last Updated on June 24, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD