Rural pediatric patients at higher risk for readmissions, complex conditions

Rural children have far higher rates of chronic conditions than non-rural children, as well as higher risks of readmission and steeper costs of care, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed more than 672,000 readmissions from 41 freestanding children's hospitals. They found rural children both had higher percentages of at least one chronic condition and higher percentages for the need of technology assistance. Mean inpatient cost was $8,507 for rural patients compared to $7,814 for non-rural inpatients, and readmission rates for rural patients were 12.9 percent compared to 11.5 percent for their non-rural counterparts. Study abstract