Hospital Readmissions among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Disabilities: Identifying Targets of Opportunity

Todd Gilmer
Allison Hamblin
December 2010

This resource examines Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities who were hospitalized during 2003–2005 in order to identify opportunities to reduce hospital readmission rates in this population.

  • The 30-day readmission rate for Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities was 16 percent and rose to 53 percent after one year.
  • Fifty percent of those readmitted within 30 days did not visit a physician between discharge and readmission.
  • The likelihood of readmission increased with the number of multiple chronic conditions, especially in regard to mental illness, substance abuse disorders, skin infections, and infectious disease.
  • Greater variation in Medicaid readmission rates compared to Medicare readmission rates suggest that state-level policies may impact readmission rates.
  • Providing more primary care visits and paying a higher average price per visit were associated with lower rates of readmission.
  • Models of care that coordinate transitions between inpatient and ambulatory care exist and might lead to a reduction in readmission rates for this population if these models were more widely adopted.
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