One in five non-surgical hospitalizations resulted in a readmission within 30 days across all payer and age groups, but for those who underwent surgery during their initial hospitalizations, the rate was one in eight, the brief said.
Large differences were seen in a number of categories. For example, 16.2% of Medicaid patients were re-hospitalized within 30 days of their initial surgical visit if they had a chronic condition, but only 8.7% were re-hospitalized if they had an acute condition.
And 12.6% of those covered by private health insurance initially hospitalized for surgery, defined as requiring an operating room, were readmitted if they had a chronic condition, compared with 6.3% of those who had an acute condition. Medicare patients were an exception. In this population, 12.3% were re-hospitalized if they had a chronic condition, but 17% if they had an acute condition.
For those patients initially hospitalized for non-surgical illnesses or conditions, in every category patients were more likely to undergo readmission if they had chronic conditions than if they had an acute condition.
The report also revealed that for children ages 1 to 17, the 30-day readmission rate was two times higher when the initial stay was to treat a chronic condition rather than an acute condition, regardless of whether the initial stay involved a surgical intervention.
And for privately-insured adults ages 45-64, the 30-day readmission rate following surgical hospitalizations was similar across chronic and acute conditions.