Nonsurgical patients have higher readmission rate

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 19, 2012

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Patients hospitalized for nonsurgical treatment of chronic conditions are nearly twice as likely to be readmitted as patients hospitalized for surgery.

Nearly 23% of patients with chronic conditions who get nonsurgical care in the hospital are readmitted within a month, compared with about 13% of patients with chronic diseases who undergo surgery.

Patients covered by Medicaid are likeliest to be readmitted for chronic conditions. Medicare patients are rehospitalized at a higher rate for acute conditions, said an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data brief published in February (link). Researchers analyzed 2008 data from 15 states.

Privately insured adults were the least likely to be readmitted, with rehospitalization rates ranging from 6.1% to 8.4%, depending on age and whether the admission was for an acute problem or a chronic condition.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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