Readmission risk much higher for patients who leave against medical advice, study finds

Patients who leave the hospital against medical advice are nearly twice as likely to be readmitted within 30 days, a study published in JAMA Network Open found. 

Researchers examined data on 19.9 million adult hospital admissions between January 2014 and November 2014, more than 298,000 of which ended with patients leaving against medical advice.

The 30-day readmission rate for this patient group was 21 percent, compared to 11 percent for patients discharged normally. 

Readmissions after a discharge against medical advice accounted for more than 400,000 hospitalization days over the study period, which cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $800 million, the researchers found. 

To view the full study, click here.

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