Readmissions in 30 days or less account for 1 in 9 hospital admissions

Research Activities, July 2011, No. 371

In 2008, nearly 12 percent of hospital stays were readmissions within 30 days of a previous stay, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Federal agency's analysis, which was based on data from 15 States, also found that 7 percent of hospital stays were readmissions within 14 days of their previous stay and 4 percent were readmissions within 1 week. In 2008, for Medicaid patients admitted for reasons other than childbirth:

  • The highest percentage of readmissions occurred in the 45 to 64 age group. The rates were about 8 percent, 14 percent, and nearly a quarter of hospital stays within 7 days, 14 days, and 30 days of their initial stay, respectively.
  • Close to 21 percent of hospital stays for those aged 18 to 44 years old were readmissions within 30 days.
  • For adult Medicaid patients under age 65, the readmission rates were 50 percent higher than those of the privately insured for any time periods within 30 days of discharge.
  • For Medicare patients aged 65 and older, about 19 percent of hospital stays were readmissions within 30 days, 11 percent were readmissions within 14 days, and 6.5 percent were readmissions within 7 days.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from All-Cause Readmissions by Payer and Age, 2008 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb115.jsp). The report uses data from 15 States in AHRQ's 2008 State Inpatient Databases. These states are Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. For information about this AHRQ database, go to Databases and Related Tools from HCUP: Fact Sheet .

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of July 2011
Internet Citation: Readmissions in 30 days or less account for 1 in 9 hospital admissions: Research Activities, July 2011, No. 371. July 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jul11/0711RA42.html