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Early hospital readmission is a predictor of one-year mortality in community-dwelling older Medicare beneficiaries



Early hospital readmission is a predictor of one-year mortality in community-dwelling older Medicare beneficiaries



Journal of General Internal Medicine 27(11): 1467-1474



Hospital readmission within thirty days is common among Medicare beneficiaries, but the relationship between rehospitalization and subsequent mortality in older adults is not known. To compare one-year mortality rates among community-dwelling elderly hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who did and did not experience early hospital readmission (within 30 days), and to estimate the odds of one-year mortality associated with early hospital readmission and with other patient characteristics. A cohort study of 2133 hospitalized community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries older than 64 years, who participated in the nationally representative Cost and Use Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey between 2001 and 2004, with follow-up through 2006. One-year mortality after index hospitalization discharge. Three hundred and four (13.7 %) hospitalized beneficiaries had an early hospital readmission. Those with early readmission had higher one-year mortality (38.7 %) than patients who were not readmitted (12.1 %; p<0.001). Early readmission remained independently associated with mortality after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, health and functional status, medical comorbidity, and index hospitalization-related characteristics [HR (95 % CI) 2.97 (2.24-3.92)]. Other patient characteristics independently associated with mortality included age [1.03 (1.02-1.05) per year], low income [1.39 (1.04-1.86)], limited self-rated health [1.60 (1.20-2.14)], two or more recent hospitalizations [1.47 (1.01-2.15)], mobility difficulty [1.51 (1.03-2.20)], being underweight [1.62 (1.14-2.31)], and several comorbid conditions, including chronic lung disease, cancer, renal failure, and weight loss. Hospitalization-related factors independently associated with mortality included longer length of stay, discharge to a skilled nursing facility for post-acute care, and primary diagnoses of infections, cancer, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Among community-dwelling older adults, early hospital readmission is a marker for notably increased risk of one-year mortality. Providers, patients, and families all might respond profitably to an early readmission by reviewing treatment plans and goals of care.

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Accession: 036455180

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22692634

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-012-2116-3


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