Heart failure hospitalization readmissions increase

June 18, 2010

Patients admitted to hospitals for heart failure in 2006 fared better in-hospital than did those in 1993, but were discharged more often to nursing homes, and readmitted more frequently, according to research.

JAMA. 2010;303:2141-2147.

Patients admitted to hospitals for heart failure in 2006 fared better in-hospital than did those in 1993, but were discharged more often to nursing homes, and readmitted more frequently, according to researchers from the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain. They conducted an observational study of nearly 7 million Medicare hospitalizations for heart failure in the United States between 1993 and 2006. Over the study period, the researchers found that the mean length-of-stay decreased from 8.81 to 6.33 days. Discharges directly to skilled nursing facilities increased by 53 percent. Thirty-day mortality decreased slightly, but post-discharge mortality (mortality from discharge up to 30 days after admission) increased by 2.1 percent. Compared with 1993 to 1994, in 2005 to 2006, the 30-day readmission risk ratio was 1.11.