Short-Stay Patients Discharged with Functional Limitations Face Higher Risk for Readmissions

April 6, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​In a national cohort of nearly 694,000 Medicare beneficiaries who were discharged from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) between July 2013 and July 2014, 5.7% experienced a potentially preventable hospital readmission, according to a study published in the April 2018 issue of JAMDA. To understand how functional status affects readmissions, the authors categorized functional status into three domains: self-care (e.g., eating, dressing, personal hygiene), mobility (e.g., transfers, bed mobility, walking), and cognition (status defined using the Cognitive Functional Scale). Across all three domains, residents who were discharged with greater dependence had higher adjusted odds for experiencing a 30-day potentially preventable readmission. Those who scored as being most dependent in terms of mobility were 1.54 times more likely to be readmitted than those scoring least dependent.

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