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Study says many readmissions not due to poor care

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A study in JAMA surgery says that a high percentage of readmissions to hospitals within 30 days of release are not caused by poor care but rather by mental-health issues, substance abuse or (in what is often related to those problems) homelessness.

Becker’s Hospital Review says that “Researchers in Seattle examined one year’s worth of readmissions data from a Level I trauma center and safety-net hospital. Among 2,100 discharges, 173 patients were readmitted to the hospital.

“Almost one-third of those readmissions fell into two groups: injection drug users who were readmitted for infections at new sites (29 patients, or 17 percent of readmissions) and people with lack of adequate social support, leading to issues around discharge and follow-up process (25 patients, or 14.5 percent of readmissions).

“Other causes of readmission were:

  • “Infections not detectable during index readmission (23 patients, 13 percent).
  • “Illness related to injury or condition (16 patients, 9 percent).
  • “Preventable complication of care (16 patients, 9 percent).
  • “Deterioration of medical conditions (two patients, 1 percent).”



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