Outpatient follow-up visits linked to fewer hospital readmissions, study finds

With mixed conclusions regarding the direct effect of outpatient follow-up care and readmission rates researchers at Advocate Healthcare conducted a study to establish between outpatient follow-up care and hospital readmissions, according to a study published in PLOS One.

Here are five things to know:

1. For the study, researchers analyzed data on 55,378 adult inpatients at Advocate who were discharged to their own home — some with home health services — between June 1, 2013 and April 30, 2015.

2. Within 30 days 47.74 percent of patients had at least one follow-up visit. Also within those 30 days 1,929 patients were readmitted, generating a readmission rate of 7.30 percent.

3. Patients who followed up with their healthcare provider within two days of their release had the greatest reduction in readmission.

4. The longer patients waited to be seen, the greater the chance their readmission rate increased.

5. Patients were more likely to have a two-day follow-up visit if the appointment was scheduled before they were discharged.

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