Hospital readmissions more than double the cost of patient care

Hospital readmissions more than double the cost of patient care, according to a study published by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation. 

For the study, researchers analyzed data from a five percent sample of Medicare patients for the years 2007 – 2009.  Key findings include:

  • 17.4 percent of the patient data analyzed contained one readmission, and five percent contained more than one.
  • Episodes of care that contain a readmission have average Medicare payments that are more than twice that of episodes that do not.  The average Medicare episode payment increased proportionately with each additional readmission.
  • The likelihood of readmission increased with the number of chronic conditions that Medicare patients had. 
  • The severity of a patient’s chronic condition was associated with a higher cost of readmission.  

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, July 25, 2012; Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, http://www.ahhqi.org/, July 18, 2012)