Length of stay rising for Massachusetts children readmitted to hospitals

While unexpected hospital readmissions for pediatric patients have remained largely unchanged in Massachusetts since 2017, the length of stay from these readmissions is going up.

The average length of stay for pediatric hospital readmissions is almost three days longer than in 2022, according to research published Oct.19 by the state's Center for Health Information and Analysis.

The report is the state agency's first to focus on hospital readmissions — a benchmark officials often look at to measure aspects of health in the adult population. Analyzing these metrics on a granular, pediatric level apart from adult benchmarks "can help identify and target interventions toward specific patient populations" and allow providers to focus treatment toward achieving "better outcomes and more efficient health care delivery for pediatric patients," the report explains. 

Other notable findings from the report:

  • In 2022, 32.1% of hospital readmissions for children were for liver transplants.

  • Twenty-three percent of hospital readmissions for children were for major biliary procedures.

  • Twenty-one percent of hospital readmissions for children were for obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Children experiencing medically complex chronic conditions had the highest hospital readmission rate at 10.4%.

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