HCUP: Younger Medicare patients have higher readmissions

Despite theories that younger patients bounce back faster than older patients, younger Medicare patients have about a 25 percent higher readmission rate compared to seniors, according to a new study from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Looking at 8.5 million patients and 11.8 million inpatient stays in 15 states in 2008, researchers found that 30-day readmission rates were higher among patients age 18-64 at 24.1 percent than among seniors age 65 and over at 19 percent. As organizations closely examine readmissions with the goal to lower costs and improve outcomes, the study encourages providers and facilities to identify particular populations with high readmission rates to better target quality improvement efforts. Study