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Hospital Readmission Risks Highest Immediately Following Nursing Home Discharge For Medicare Heart Failure Patients

Patients with heart failure were more likely to go back to the hospital within two days of being discharged to their homes from a skilled nursing facility, but after that two-day period the chance of readmission declined considerably, a recent AHRQ-funded study found. In the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, researchers examined records of 67,500 Medicare patients 65 years and older who were hospitalized with heart failure 30 days after discharge from a nursing home in 2012-2015. Of them, 16,333 (24 percent) were readmitted within 30 days of discharge from the facility. But the readmission rate was at least twice as high in the first two days after discharge as in subsequent days. The results are meaningful because 1 in 5 Medicare patients has heart failure. Researchers suggested that further work should examine if current hospital discharge practices could be applied to the transition from nursing home to home.

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