Among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for heart failure, 30-day all-cause readmission was associated with a higher risk of subsequent all-cause mortality, higher number of cumulative all-cause readmission, longer cumulative length of stay, and higher cumulative cost, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Medicine. The study, led by researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Washington, DC, was co-authored by Dr. Thomas Love, director of Biostatistics and Evaluation for the Center for Health Care Research and Policy.
The study examined 7578 Medicare beneficiaries discharged with a primary diagnosis of heart failure from 106 Alabama hospitals in 1998-2001, who lived at least 30 days after discharge. In a propensity-score matched cohort of patients with and without 30-day all cause readmissions, the study found pronounced and statistically significant differences in long-term mortality, lengths of stay, other readmissions and cumulative costs. An abstract of the study may be found here.