Which Readmissions May Be Preventable? Lessons Learned From a Posthospitalization Care Transitions Program for High-risk Elders

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Abstract

Background:

Care transitions programs have been shown to reduce hospital readmissions.

Objectives:

The main objective of this study was to evaluate effects of the Mayo Clinic Care Transitions (MCCTs) Program on potentially preventable and nonpreventable 30-day unplanned readmissions among high-risk elders.

Research Design:

This was a retrospective cohort study of patients enrolled in MCCT following hospitalization and propensity score-matched controls receiving usual primary care.

Subjects:

The subjects were primary care patients, who were 60 years or older, at high-risk for readmission, and hospitalized for any cause between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013.

Measures:

Hospital readmission within 30 days. The 3M algorithm was used to identify potentially preventable readmissions. Readmissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, a subset of preventable readmissions identified by the 3M algorithm, were also assessed.

Results:

The study cohort included 365 pairs of MCCT enrollees and propensity score-matched controls. Patients were similar in age (mean 83 y) and other baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, including reason for index hospitalization. MCCT enrollees had a significantly lower all-cause readmission rate [12.4% (95% confidence interval: CI, 8.9–15.7) vs. 20.1% (15.8–24.1); P=0.004] resulting from a decrease in potentially preventable readmissions [8.4% (95% CI, 5.5–11.3) vs. 14.3% (95% CI, 10.5–17.9); P=0.01]. Few potentially preventable readmissions were for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (6.7% vs. 12.0%). The rates of nonpotentially preventable readmissions were similar [4.3% (95% CI, 2.2–6.5) vs. 6.7% (95% CI, 4.0–9.4); P=0.16]. Potentially preventable readmissions were reduced by 44% (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.36–0.88; P=0.01) with no change in other readmissions.

Conclusions:

The MCCT significantly reduces preventable readmissions, suggesting that access to multidisciplinary care can reduce readmissions and improve outcomes for high-risk elders.

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