Neighborhood disadvantage linked to readmissions at safety-net hospitals

Patients who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods or who seek care at a hospital that serves a lot of patients from disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days, according to research published by Annals of Internal Medicine.

To get a better idea of how patient neighborhoods and hospital service areas affect health outcomes, researchers examined one year of discharge data from Maryland hospitals in 2015.

They found 13.4 percent of patients were readmitted within 30 days. However, patients living in neighborhoods that ranked in the 90th percentile on an area disadvantage index had a 14.1 percent readmission rate. Patients in more advantaged neighborhoods had readmission rates of 12.5 percent.

Data followed a similar pattern for hospitals that serve more disadvantaged neighborhoods as well. Readmission rates were 14.8 percent at hospitals serving high proportions of disadvantaged areas. At hospitals serving few disadvantaged neighborhoods, readmissions were 11.6 percent.


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