Social determinants of health contributed to half of hospital readmissions, study finds

Social determinants of health, including transportation access and home stability, can have a significant effect on hospital readmissions, a study from Connance, a Waystar company, concluded. 

The study examined 47,674 encounters with  37,568 patients from an unnamed academic medical center, during a 12-month period from July 2016 through June 2017.

Three findings:

1. Social determinants of health contributed to more than 50 percent of readmissions.

2. Patients with higher "transportation access risk" had an average of 41 percent more excess days in the hospital than those with low transportation access risk. The study defined transportation access risk as "the risk of not having access to private or public transportation for basic health-related activities, such as getting to medical appointments or getting to a pharmacy to fill a prescription." 

3. Patients with higher "home instability risk" are 32 percent more likely to exceed the average hospitalization time. The study defined home stability risk as "the risk of eviction or foreclosure of one's residence, along the risk of not being able to afford necessary home utilities."


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