Primary care follow-up within a week post-discharge linked to fewer Medicaid readmissions

Receiving timely primary care follow-up can help reduce readmissions in the Medicaid population, according to a study in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of hospital readmissions among Medicaid patients 18 years or older. The patients were hospitalized from Jan. 1, 2014, to April 30, 2016, in Camden, N.J. They linked all-payer claims data from four health systems to insurers' lists of patients assigned to Camden-based primary care practices.

In all, researchers examined 2,580 hospitalizations, of these, 1,531 records were categorized by timing of a primary care appointment after discharge.

They found that the patients with a primary care visit within seven days of hospital discharge experienced fewer readmissions than patients with less timely or no primary care follow-up after discharge.

"The findings illuminate the importance of reducing barriers that patients and providers face during care transitions," study authors concluded.

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