Predictors of 30-, 60-, and 90-day All-Cause Hospital Readmission in a Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Population: a Retrospective Secondary Data Analysis
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Hospital readmissions are a significant and preventable source of healthcare cost in the United States. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to reduce readmissions by penalizing institutions with excessive 30-day readmission rates. Hospitals serving socioeconomically disadvantaged populations have been shown to be at an increased risk of incurring penalties under these provisions. Early identification of patients at risk of early readmission may help reduce excessive readmission rates. This study examines variables predictive of early readmission in a population of low socioeconomic status. Age, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate, and days to follow up visit were analyzed in a sample of 2,536 patients at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines in Central Texas to determine association with risk of readmission at 30, 60, and 90 days. Pulse rate was found to be predictive of 30-, 60-, and 90-day readmission. Increased follow-up time was associated with decreased risk of readmission in all readmission groups, and passive smoking status was associated with decreased risk of 90-day readmission. Results offer tools for at-risk patient identification in a disadvantaged population and suggest further investigation of clinical variables as predictors of readmission risk.