Background and aims: The 30-day hospital readmission rate in cirrhotic patients has been demonstrated to be up to 40% in international studies, but is not well studied in Australia. The aim of the current study was to report on the rate and cause of 30-day hospital readmission from a single liver transplant referral centre, including a cost analysis of readmissions.
Methods: This was a retrospective study of consecutive cirrhotic patients admitted to a liver transplant centre in Victoria, Australia, between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019. Cases were identified through International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, 10 coding for cirrhosis and its complications. Baseline demographic data, liver-related complications and unrelated extra-hepatic comorbidities, laboratory values and prognostic scores were collected from the electronic medical record.
Results: One hundred seventy-nine (63% men; median age at index admission, 59 years) patients who were admitted 427 times during the study period were included in the final analysis. The 30-day hospital readmission rate was 46%, with the majority of readmissions attributable to fluid overload (29%), miscellaneous reasons (27%) and infection (20%). One fifth of readmissions were considered preventable. History of variceal haemorrhage was found to be an independent predictor of 30-day hospital readmission. The annual cost of readmission is over AU$2.7 million and the median cost of hospital readmission was about AU$9000.
Conclusions: The 30-day hospital readmission rate of 46% is higher than previously reported and almost half of cases were caused by either fluid overload or infection.
Keywords: cirrhosis; cost analysis; hospital readmission; preventable readmission.
© 2022 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.