Title: Thirty-day all-cause hospital readmissions - racial and income disparities and risk factors in a veterans integrated healthcare network

Authors: Mollie Shulan; Kelly Gao; Crystal Dea Moore

Addresses: Geriatrics & Extended Care, Health Services Research & Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Stratton VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Avenue, Albany NY 12208, USA ' Department of Veterans Affairs, Stratton VA Medical Center, 113 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, USA ' Department of Social Work, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, USA

Abstract: Hospital readmission rate has long been one of the most watched measures for hospital quality of care and possesses significant financial implications. On 1 October 2012, CMS started to reduce payments to the hospitals with excessive readmissions. The penalties implemented by CMS have rekindled extensive research activities centred on the fairness of the penalties owing to racial disparities for hospitals serving disadvantaged populations and on the interventions that can reduce readmissions. In this study, we found that no racial and income disparities exist in the Veterans Integrated Healthcare Network Upstate New York, which could have broader policy implications. We explored demographic and socioeconomic risk factors and found that unmarried patients were 19% more likely to be rehospitalised. Given more than half of the inpatients are unmarried, 19% more readmissions merit greater attention from hospital managers and policymakers alike.

Keywords: hospital readmissions; racial disparities; income disparities; demographic risk factors; socioeconomic risk factors; hospital readmission rates; quality of care; healthcare management; disadvantaged populations; unmarried patients.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2015.074539

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2015 Vol.15 No.2, pp.112 - 123

Received: 12 Apr 2014
Accepted: 14 Nov 2014

Published online: 05 Feb 2016 *

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