Scheduled and unscheduled hospital readmissions among patients with diabetes

Am J Manag Care. 2010 Oct;16(10):760-7.


Objectives: To describe rates of scheduled and unscheduled readmissions among midlife and older patients with diabetes and to examine associated socioeconomic and clinical factors.

Study design: Population-based data set study.

Methods: Using the 2006 California State Inpatient Dataset, we identified 124,967 patients 50 years or older with diabetes who were discharged from acute care hospitals between April and September 2006 and examined readmissions in the 3 months following their index hospitalizations.

Results: About 26.3% of patients were readmitted within the 3-month period following their index hospitalizations, 87.2% of which were unscheduled readmissions. Patients with unscheduled readmissions were more likely to have a higher comorbidity burden, be members of racial/ethnic minority groups with public insurance, and live in lower-income neighborhoods. Having a history of hospitalization in the 3 months preceding the index hospitalization was also a strong predictor of unscheduled readmissions. Almost one-fifth of unscheduled readmissions (constituting approximately 27,500 inpatient days and costing almost $72.7 million) were potentially preventable based on definitions of Prevention Quality Indicators by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Scheduled readmissions were less likely to occur among patients 80 years or older, the uninsured, and those with an unscheduled index hospitalization.

Conclusions: The predictors of scheduled and unscheduled readmissions are different. Transition care to prevent unscheduled readmissions in acutely ill patients with diabetes may help reduce rates, improving care. Further studies are needed on potential disparities in scheduled readmissions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • California
  • Data Collection
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality