Risk factors and costs associated with nationwide nonelective readmission after trauma

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Most prior studies of readmission after trauma have been limited to single institutions, whereas multi-institutional studies have been limited to single states and an inability to distinguish between elective and nonelective readmissions. The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors and costs associated with nonelective readmission after trauma across the United States.

METHODS

The Nationwide Readmission Database was queried for all patients with nonelective admissions in 2013 and 2014 with a primary diagnosis of trauma. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression identified risk factors for 30-day nonelective same- and different-hospital readmission. The diagnosis groups on readmission were evaluated, and the total cost of readmissions was calculated.

RESULTS

There were 1,180,144 patients admitted for trauma, the 30-day readmission rate was 9.4%, and 26.4% of readmissions occurred at a different hospital. The median readmission cost for patients readmitted to the same hospital was $8,298 (interquartile range, $4,899–$14,911), whereas the median readmission cost for patients readmitted to a different hospital was $8,568 (interquartile range, $4,935–$16,078; p < 0.01). Multivariate regression revealed that patients discharged against medical advice were at increased risk of readmission (odds ratio, 2.79; p < 0.01) and readmission to a different facility (odds ratio, 1.58; p < 0.01). Home health care was associated with a decreased risk of readmission to a different hospital (odds ratio, 0.74; p < 0.01). Septicemia and disseminated infections were the most common diagnoses on readmission (8.4%) and readmission to a different hospital (8.6%).

CONCLUSIONS

A significant portion of US readmissions occur at different hospitals with implications for continuity of care, quality metrics, cost, and resource allocation. Home health care reduces the likelihood of nonelective readmission to a different hospital. Infection was the most common reason for readmission, with ramifications for outcomes research and quality improvement.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Care management/epidimeological, level IV.

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