STUDY: COMMUNITY FACTORS KEY TO HOSPITAL READMISSIONS VARIANCE

Community factors explain a substantial amount of variation in hospital readmission rates, according to a study reported today in Health Services Research (HSR). The study assessed the effect of county demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, access to care, and nursing home quality characteristics on the pooled 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients discharged between July 2007 and 2010. It found that 58% of national variation in hospital readmission rates was explained by the county where the hospital was located, with higher readmission rates most strongly associated with access to care measures such as the number of general practitioners and nursing homes per capita. Several of the authors work at AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate. HSR journal is the flagship publication of HRET. AHA News Now, April 9, 2014

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