Hospitals with higher post-discharge ER visits have fewer readmissions

An emergency room sign outside of a hospital entrance.

Yale researchers have found that hospitals with higher emergency department visitation rates after hospital discharge had lower readmission rates among Medicare beneficiaries.

Arjun Venkatesh, M.D., Arjun Venkatesh, M.D., a 2016 Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) Scholar, and his team analyzed the files of Medicare beneficiaries who were hospitalized for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia between July 2011 and June 2012. Their study describes the frequency, diagnoses, and hospital-level variation in emergency department visitation following the hospital discharge of Medicare beneficiaries.

Their finding that hospitals with higher rates of emergency department visits after hospital discharge also had lower rates of readmission is counterintuitive to many of the current policies being debated, said Venkatesh, and suggests that further research should be done to “examine the role of the hospital-based emergency department in providing access to acute care and supporting care transitions for the vulnerable Medicare population.”

These findings are published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.


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