Abstract 256: Readmission Avoidability in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients
Background: Readmissions for ACS are common, costly, and potentially preventable. According to Medicare 13.4% of AMI admissions were followed by a rehospitalization within 15 days. A 2007 MedPAC report declared 76% of 30-day readmissions preventable. These rates are used as quality indicators despite lack of consensus on the definition of avoidable and unavoidable readmissions. We sought to define these terms and to analyze the effect of these definitions on 30-day outcomes.
Methods: BRIDGE (Bridging the Discharge Gap Effectively) is an NP-led transitional care program for cardiac patients within 14 days of discharge. Retrospective data were abstracted on ACS patients readmitted before their appointments between 2008-2010. All readmissions were characterized as avoidable or unavoidable. Definitions were developed from the literature and in concert with senior cardiologists. Avoidable readmission was defined as being the result of a patient or provider issue that if managed may have prevented the admission. Unavoidable readmissions were defined as a patient in need of acute care. Avoidability status was further divided as related or unrelated to the index diagnosis.
Results: Of 1188 BRIDGE referrals 304 (25.6%) experienced ACS events. In comparison to the total ACS population, patients readmitted before their BRIDGE clinic appointment (BC) (n=21, 6.9%) tended to be older, female, and were less likely to have a history of a cath or AMI (Table 1). In this study, 81% (n=17) of early readmissions were deemed unavoidable and most (n=14, 66.7%) were attributed to non-ACS issues or disease progression. These unavoidable readmissions included patients with cancer complications, chest pain, or other non-related diagnoses. Only 19% (n=4) of the readmissions were declared avoidable as a result of patient lack of adherence or provider issues such as adverse drug effects.
Conclusion: The majority of early (before BC) readmissions following an index hospitalization for ACS patients referred to BRIDGE were unavoidable and unrelated to ACS. A clear discrepancy is seen between the 76% preventable readmissions in the MedPAC report and the 19% preventable readmissions in this study. Distinctions between unavoidable and avoidable readmissions should inform the utility of 30-day readmission rates as quality metrics.
Author Disclosures: M. Souphis: None. R. Sylvester: None. A. Wiles: None. M. Subramanian: None. W. Froehlich: None. L. Gordon: None. T. Alexandris-Souphis: None. E. Kline-Rogers: None. P. Vaishnava: None. M. Rubenfire: None. S. Bumpus: C. Other Research Support; Modest; EMU CHHS Research Support, EMU Undergraduate Stimulus.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.