Study: 36% of California Hospital Patients Readmitted Within Year
More than one-third of hospital patients in California are readmitted within a year, according to a study released Monday by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The study found that of the 1.7 million people admitted to California hospitals in 2005, 36% were readmitted within a year (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 5/18). Of the readmissions, about 10% occurred within a week and one-third occurred within a month.
Readmissions rates were highest among those initially admitted for:
- Psychiatric care;
- Heart failure;
- Adult pneumonia; and
- Joint replacements.
Ninety-three percent of patients with at least one readmission were initially admitted for acute general care, according to the study (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 5/17).
Medicare, Medi-Cal Readmission Rates
The study found that 46% of Medicare beneficiaries and 38% of Medi-CalÂ beneficiaries had at least one readmission, compared with 24% to 25% of self-pay or insured patients. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The number of readmissions was highest among Medi-Cal beneficiaries, with an average of 2.5 readmissions per year (The Business Journal, 5/17).
The study found that in 2005 readmissions cost:
- Medicare $31 billion, accounting for half of what the program pays for hospital services in California;
- Medi-Cal nearly $10 billion, accounting for 49% of its hospital costs; and
- Private insurers $11 billion, accounting for 36% of its hospital costs (Modern Healthcare, 5/17).
According to the study, average readmission rates per year were:
- 1.73 in Los Angeles County;
- 1.61 in Inland Empire and San Diego;
- 1.59 in the San Francisco Bay Area,;
- 1.55 in San Joaquin Valley;
- 1.53 in Sacramento Valley; and
- 1.49 in California's mountain counties (The Business Journal, 5/17).