Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gap Seen in Readmit Rates by Race, Location

By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

Older black patients admitted to hospital for three common conditions -- congestive heart failure, heart attack, or pneumonia -- are 13% more likely than whites to be readmitted within a month, researchers reported.

But the analysis of Medicare discharge data for more than three million patients, also found disparities related to where patients get care -- both blacks and whites treated at hospitals with a large proportion of black patients had even higher readmission rates, according to Karen Joynt, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

Overall, about one in five older patients admitted to the hospital with heart failure, MI, or pneumonia were readmitted within 30 days, Joynt and co-authors wrote in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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