9 Percent Readmitted After Index COVID-19 Hospitalization

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2020 — Among patients surviving an index COVID-19 hospitalization, 9 percent are readmitted within two months of discharge, according to research published in the Nov. 9 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Amy M. Lavery, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues examined patterns of hospital discharge, readmission, and characteristics associated with hospital readmission after initial COVID-19 hospitalization.

The researchers identified 126,137 unique patients with an index COVID-19 admission during March to July 2020. During the index hospitalization, 15 percent of patients died. Of the remaining patients, 9 percent were readmitted to the same hospital within two months of discharge. Among 1.6 percent of patients discharged after the index hospitalization, more than a single readmission occurred. Readmissions occurred more often for those discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or those needing home health care than for those discharged to home or self-care (15 and 12 percent, respectively, versus 7 percent). There was an increase noted in the odds of hospital readmission with age among those aged 65 years and older and with the presence of certain chronic conditions, hospitalization within the three months before index hospitalization, and discharge to an SNF or home with health care assistance.

“Information on the frequency of, and risk factors for, readmission can inform clinical practice and discharge disposition decisions especially with regard to the acuity and location of ongoing care needed for persons who might appear stable at discharge,” the authors write.

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