Numerous social factors tied to readmission risk for pneumonia and heart failure patients, study says

Share this article:
Providers should consider social factors, such as race, gender and whether a person is a nursing home resident when assessing readmission risk among pneumonia and heart failure patients, new research finds.

After analyzing 20 pneumonia-related studies and 52 heart failure studies, investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that social factors out of a providers' control often play a role in predicting readmission risk within 30 days of a hospital patient's discharge. For example, having a low level of education, low income and being unemployed were linked to a higher risk of going back into the hospital among beneficiaries with pneumonia.

Being a nursing home resident also was associated with increased the risk for death and readmission in people with pneumonia, investigators noted. Similarly, they found that among heart-failure patients, people who do not live near hospitals, and those who feel cold in their homes were at an increased risk of dying.

"Different and more intensive follow-up strategies will likely be necessary in these high social-risk patients,” the study authors wrote.

On Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services enacted financial penalties to hospitals with that have high numbers of patients who are readmitted within 30 days of discharge for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

The study was published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Share this article:

More in News

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest ...

Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to ...

PharMerica to pay $200,000 settlement over federal charges of unsafe dispensing practices

Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Shortchanging the Older Americans Act has led to unnecessary nursing home placements, ...

Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.