One-third of patients are readmitted in California

Hospital readmissions accounted for $31 billion of Medicare charges for California hospital services, or 50% of the total Medicare charges for the state between 2005 and 2006.

Key findings from a study by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development:

  • More than half of patients initially admitted for such medical conditions as heart failure, emphysema, or kidney failure were readmitted within the year
  • The likelihood of having at least one readmission increased with age, reaching 47% for seniors 85 years and older
  • Black patients were more likely than any other group to have at least one readmission
  • Almost 50% of Medicare patients had one readmission within a year

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, May 19, 2010; The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, http://www.oshpd.ca.gov, Spring 2010)