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READMISSIONS: Low-income vulnerable elderly are more likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days

Some seniors are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits–the term used is “dual eligibles.”  This study of Medicare inpatient claims data for 2009 took a look at 30-day readmissions associated with seven cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions — heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bypass surgery, angioplasty, and other vascular conditions.  A relationship between dual-eligible status and a higher rate of readmissions was found, possibly because these patients are more frail and more likely to be in nursing homes.

Source: Gu, Q, Koenig, L., and others. The Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program: potential unintended consequences for hospitals serving vulnerable populations. Health Services Research;49(3):818-837, June 2014.  Click here for the publisher’s website: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6773.12150/pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


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