Most Patients Go Back To Same Hospital For 30-Day Readmissions Interview with:
Rachel Mosher Henke, Ph.D.
Truven Health Analytics
Director of Research
Cambridge, MA

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Henke: We wanted to see what percentage of patients return to the same hospital for their readmission.  Hospitals are increasingly at risk for the cost of readmissions through new initiatives, such as bundled payment programs.  If a patient goes to another hospital for their readmission, the original hospital has little control over the decision to admit and the intensity of care provided.

We found about three quarters of patients do go back to the same hospital for 30-day readmissions, with some variation in rates by condition.  Patients admitted through the emergency department and patients who live in the same county as the hospital were more likely to return to the same hospital for their readmission.

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

Dr. Henke: Most hospitals should not be concerned about losing too many patients to another hospital for their readmission.  However, hospitals should be aware that patients who live outside of the county may choose to go to a local hospital when providing discharge planning.

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

Dr. Henke: We found a higher than expected percentage of hospitals that have a very low same-hospital readmission percentage.  It would be interesting to study whether this reflects the quality of care provided by these hospitals. The focus of this study was on all-cause readmissions for specific conditions; it would also be interesting to investigate clinically related and clinically unrelated readmission diagnoses on same-hospital readmission rates.


Rachel Mosher Henke, Zeynal Karaca, Hollis Lin, Lauren M. Wier, William Marder, and Herbert S. Wong

Patient Factors Contributing to Variation in Same-Hospital Readmission Rate Med Care Res Rev 1077558715577478, first published on March 30, 2015 doi:10.1177/1077558715577478 Interview with: Rachel Mosher Henke, Ph.D. (2015). Most Patients Go Back To Same Hospital For 30-Day Readmissions 

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