Continuity of Care Versus Language Concordance as an Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions From Home Health Care

Med Care. 2023 Sep 1;61(9):605-610. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001884. Epub 2023 Aug 10.


Background: Language concordance between health care practitioners and patients have recently been shown to lower the risk of adverse health events. Continuity of care also been shown to have the same impact.

Objective: The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative effectiveness of both continuity of care and language concordance as alternative or complementary interventions to improve health outcomes of people with limited English proficiency.

Design: A multivariable logistic regression model using rehospitalization as the dependent variable was built. The variable of interest was created to compare language concordance and continuity of care.

Participants: The final sample included 22,103 patients from the New York City area between 2010 and 2015 who were non-English-speaking and admitted to their home health site following hospital discharge.

Measures: The odds ratio (OR) average marginal effect (AME) of each included variable was calculated for model analysis.

Results: When compared with low continuity of care and high language concordance, high continuity of care and high language concordance significantly decreased readmissions (OR=0.71, 95% CI: 0.62-0.80, P<0.001, AME=-4.95%), along with high continuity of care and low language concordance (OR=0.80, 95% CI: 0.74-0.86, P<0.001, AME=-3.26%). Low continuity of care and high language concordance did not significantly impact readmissions (OR=1.04, 95% CI: 0.86-1.26, P=0.672, AME=0.64%).

Conclusion: In the US home health system, enhancing continuity of care for those with language barriers may be helpful to address disparities and reduce hospital readmission rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission*