Pediatric Hospitals Highly Variable in Readmission Rates

Variability, seen across conditions and hospitals, may be target of quality improvement efforts

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There is significant variability in readmission rates at pediatric hospitals based on condition treated and admitting hospital, according to a study published in the Jan. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jay G. Berry, M.D., from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues analyzed 568,845 admissions at 72 children's hospitals (July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010) found in the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions Case Mix Comparative data set. Thirty-day unplanned readmissions were identified.

The researchers found that the 30-day unadjusted readmission rate for all hospitalized children was 6.5 percent. In hospitals with high versus low readmission rates, adjusted rates were 28.6 percent higher (7.2 versus 5.6 percent). The adjusted rates were 17.0 to 66.0 percent greater in hospitals with high versus low readmission rates for the 10 admission diagnoses with the highest readmission prevalence. Sickle cell rates were 20.1 versus 12.7 percent in hospitals with high versus low readmission rates.

"There was significant variability in readmission rates across conditions and hospitals," the authors write. "These data may be useful for hospitals' quality improvement efforts."

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