CDC finds nine percent of COVID-19 hospital patients are readmitted

Nov. 10, 2020

After discharge from an initial COVID-19 hospitalization, nine percent of patients were readmitted to the same hospital within two months of discharge, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Multiple readmissions occurred in 1.6 percent of patients. Risk factors for readmission included age ≥65 years, presence of certain chronic conditions, hospitalization within the three months preceding the first COVID-19 hospitalization, and discharge to a skilled nursing facility or with home healthcare. Understanding frequency of, and potential reasons for, readmission after a COVID-19 hospitalization can inform clinical practice, discharge disposition decisions, and public health priorities, such as healthcare resource planning.

CCOVID-19 is a complex clinical illness with potential health complications that might require ongoing clinical care. Few studies have investigated discharge patterns and hospital readmissions among large groups of patients after an initial COVID-19 hospitalization. Using electronic health record and administrative data from the PremierHealthcare Database, CDC assessed patterns of hospital discharge, readmission, and demographic and clinical characteristics associated with hospital readmission after a patient’s initial COVID-19 hospitalization (index hospitalization).

Among 126,137 unique patients with an index COVID-19 admission during March–July 2020, 15 percent died during the index hospitalization. Among the 106,543 (85 percent) surviving patients, nine percent (9,504) were readmitted to the same hospital within 2 months of discharge through August 2020.

More than a single readmission occurred among 1.6 percent of patients discharged after the index hospitalization. Readmissions occurred more often among patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) (15 percent) or those needing home healthcare (12 percent) than among patients discharged to home or selfcare (seven percent).

The odds of hospital readmission increased with age among persons aged ≥65 years, presence of certain chronic conditions, hospitalization within the three months preceding the index hospitalization, and if discharge from the index hospitalization was to a SNF or to home with healthcare assistance. These results support recent analyses that found chronic conditions to be significantly associated with hospital.

The Premier Healthcare Database includes discharge records for adult and pediatric patients from >1,000 nongovernmental, teaching and community hospitals representing approximately 25 percent of U.S. hospital admissions. Data for this study represented a subset of 865 medical facilities that contributed inpatient encounters to the Premier Healthcare Database during March–August 2020.

CDC has the report.

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