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.