22% of beneficiaries return to hospital

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A large number of rehabilitation patients seek hospital care shortly after being discharged from a nursing facility, according to recent research.

Investigators examined data from more than 50,000 Medicare beneficiaries in North and South Carolina. About 22% went to the hospital within 30 days of discharge from a nursing home, the researchers discovered. More than 37% sought acute care within three months of leaving the nursing facility.

“Before this study, we didn't recognize the large number of older adults who require additional acute care after they're discharged from a nursing home,” said study author Mark Toles, Ph.D., RN, of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Researchers from Duke University, the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing also were involved.

The researchers identified several risk factors for hospital admission following a stint in nursing home rehab, including the presence of cancer or respiratory disease. Men, African-Americans and patients in for-profit facilities also were among the more likely to go to the hospital.


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