Health worker home visits linked to reduced 30-day readmissions

A visit by a nurse or physical therapist to an older adult's home within a week of discharge from a skilled nursing facility may reduce 30-day readmissions, according to a study published in JAMDA.

For the study, researchers examined outcomes among 1,500 adults over the age of 65 years who were admitted to skilled nursing facilities after being discharged from a hospital. Researchers found home visits from healthcare workers were associated with a reduced risk of 30-day readmission, whereas outpatient provider visits — which can be expensive and burdensome for patients and caregivers — did not present such an association.

"We hope these findings will encourage policy makers to make home healthcare more widely available," said Alexia Torke, MD, associate director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research in Indianapolis and one of the study authors. "An early home health visit may be a great way to improve the chances that the older adult won't need to come back to the hospital so soon."

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