30-day readmissions among seriously ill older adults

J Palliat Med. 2012 Dec;15(12):1356-61. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2012.0259. Epub 2012 Oct 9.


Background: Inpatient palliative consultation are generally provided to seriously ill hospitalized patients with the intent to alleviate pain and suffering and develop a plan of care for the patient. Although numerous benefits of this service have been documented, little is known about hospital readmission rates and factors associated with these readmissions.

Objective: Our aim was to investigate factors associated with 30-day hospital readmission among patients receiving a consultation from an inpatient palliative care (ICP) team.

Design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study.

Setting/subjects: Data from 408 managed care patients 65 years old and older were collected in 2007-2009 following an IPC consultation and subsequent hospital discharge.

Measurements: IPC and medical service use records were utilized.

Results: Among IPC patients, 10% of those discharged from the hospital were readmitted within 30 days. Factors associated with hospital readmission included being discharged from the hospital with no care in the home or to a nursing facility. Receipt of hospice or home-based palliative care post-discharge was associated with significantly lower odds of hospital readmission.

Conclusions: This study found that receipt of palliative care following hospital discharge was an important factor in reducing 30-day hospital readmissions. Further study is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of longitudinal palliative care models in reducing 30-day hospital readmissions among seriously ill patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Checklist
  • Critical Illness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Palliative Care
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Readmission* / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors