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Report Says 25% of Hospital Patients Readmitted Within Two Years

Roughly one-quarter of all hospital patients were readmitted for the same conditions that prompted their initial hospitalization over a 2-year period, according to a report from the AHRQ.

Roughly one-quarter of all hospital patients were readmitted for the same conditions that prompted their initial hospitalization over a 2-year period, according to the latest News and Numbers report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

In the report, analysis of data on 15 million patients in 12 states in 2006 and 2007 showed that more than a third of those who had coronary atherosclerosis were readmitted at least once to the hospital during that period. Multiple readmissions were also seen for 30% of patients with uncomplicated diabetes, 28% with high blood pressure and 21% with asthma.

AHRQ also found that:

  • Among Medicare patients, 42% experienced multiple hospital admissions and 38% multiple emergency department (ED) visits. For Medicaid patients, 23% experienced multiple hospital admissions and 50% visited the ED more than once.
  • About 22% of uninsured patients had multiple hospital readmissions and 38% had multiple ED visits but were not admitted.
  • Privately insured patients were the least likely to require multiple hospital readmissions (19%) or make multiple visits to the ED (29%).

While some patients were readmitted because of the severity and complexity of their underlying condition, research shows that many repeat admissions can be avoided if patients have better outpatient care.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data from “Hospital Readmissions and Multiple Emergency Department Visits, in Selected States, 2006-2007”. The report uses statistics from the HCUP State Inpatient Databases and HCUP State Emergency Department Databases for 12 States: Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.