Document Type

Other

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Abstract

Hospitalizations are the most expensive type of care within the healthcare system. Yet many patients find themselves frequently returning to the hospital, particularly those in Medicare. Hospital readmission rates for Medicare patient's range between 18 to 20 percent higher than other private insured patients. In an effort to reduce spending within Medicare, federal reimbursements will decrease to penalize hospitals performing below national benchmarks. As an indicator of quality of care, readmission rates may identify areas of weakness within the healthcare continuum, and may occur as a result of a combination of different factors. Some of these factors include but are not limited to, incomplete treatment, poor care of the underlying problem, poor conditioning of services, mediation complaince and follow up care.

Specific causes for hospital readmissions vary across studies. This study attempts to identify factors related to hospital readmissions within New York State using available county data. The result of the multiple regression analysis indicates that communities with a large Black demographic population are at higher risk for readmissions. Also, hospitals whose patients responded that they did not always receive information on what to do during their recovery at home have an increase for readmission. Future studies are needed to identify specific factors that affect readmission at the individual level as county level data does not significantly predict readmissions.

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