Community factors linked to hospital readmission rates

Community factors, such as socioeconomic status, physician mix and nursing home quality, may affect hospital readmission rates more than previously thought, according to a study published in Health Services Research. The research team, led by Jeph Herrin, Ph.D., of the Health Research & Educational Trust in Chicago and the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., found that the factors explain nearly half of the 60 percent of variation in hospital pooled 30-day readmission rates involving acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and pneumonia. The results indicate that hospitals may be better able to reduce their readmission rates if they add community-based readmission reduction strategies to their ongoing improvement efforts, researchers said. Study abstract