Are patients frequently readmitted to the hospital different from the other admitted patients?

Maribeth Porter, David Quillen, Denny Fe Agana, Lisa Chacko, Kimberly Lynch, Lauren Bielick, Xiaoqing Fu, Yang Yang, Peter J. Carek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although the characteristics of readmitted patients associated with a family medicine inpatient service have been reported, differing characteristics between groups of patients based on readmission rates have not been studied. The aim of this project was to examine patients with differing rates of readmission. Methods: Patients admitted to a family medicine inpatient service were classified into 1 of 3 groups based on the number of admission and readmissions in a given year. Demographic data and other characteristics of these patients were collected and used in analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the 3 groups of admissions. Differences in characteristics of groups were compared using Wilcoxon rank sum test for continuous variables and 2 test or Fisher exact test for categoric variables. Multivariate logistic regressions were used for predicting high-frequency readmission. Results: Patients in the high-frequency readmission group more commonly had a psychiatric, substance abuse, and chronic pain diagnosis. The primary discharge diagnoses among the 3 groups were similar. Age-group, Charlson severity index, Morse Fall Scale medication list, and problem list were significant for predicting high frequency of readmission. Annually, patients in the high-frequency readmission group had about an 80% turnover rate. Conclusions: Although this study examined patient care data from only one large academic health center hospital, the results found that patients who experience 3 or more readmissions in a calendar are associated with specific characteristics. In addition, the list of specific individual patients considered to be high utilizers for hospital readmissions was dynamic and significantly changed during 3 consecutive years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospitalization
  • Patient care
  • Patient discharge
  • Patient readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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