Heart failure (HF) is one of the most common chronic and disabling illnesses, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. Readmission rate, one key indicator of healthcare quality and healthcare utilization, is prevalent in HF patients. Inconsistent evidences exist about the impact of rural health disparities on HF patients' readmissions. The purpose of this explorative study was to examine the characteristics of hospitalized HF patients and factors related to readmissions in 2009. The results showed all-cause readmission rates were 13.6%, 23.6%, and 31.6% at 30-, 90- and 180-days respectively. The factors related readmissions included age, income, discharge/transfer status from index hospitalization, and comorbidity. Findings from this analysis suggested additional studies using multiple data sources are needed to have a comprehensive understanding of risk factors related HF patients' healthcare utilization.
Keywords: All-payer data; Heart failure; Readmissions; Rural health.