Socioeconomic Status Does Matter with Risk of Hospital Readmissions

HealthDay summarizes a recent study that finds that states with higher income inequalities have higher risk of 30-day rehospitalizations for myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia.  The evidence did not indicate a higher death rate with the income inequality states.

For patients who had a heart attack or heart failure, the risk for readmission increased 1.5 percent. Those with pneumonia had a 1.4 percent higher risk. The researchers estimated this would amount to over 7,000 more readmissions for heart attack, nearly 18,000 more readmissions for heart failure and about 14,000 extra readmissions for pneumonia over three years.   (HealthDay, 2013)

The full article is found in the BMJ “Income inequality and 30 day outcomes after acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia:  retrospective cohort study”.    

Application:

So what does that mean to your agency?  Knowing and addressing the needs of the underserved and disparate populations is essential for your ACH rates, but more importantly for patient’s wellbeing that may not have the literacy and educational levels of those patients with higher income.

The Underserved Population (UP) Best Practice Intervention Package (BPIP)  is a great resource to begin to increase Awareness, begin Assessment, and create Actions to reduce inequitable care and reduce avoidable readmissions.

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