30-day spine surgery readmission rates: Does the hospital make a difference? 5 key notes


A new study published in The Spine Journal examines the continuity of care and 30-day readmissions after spine surgery.

The researchers examined 16,483 spine surgery patients evaluated in the emergency department within the first 30 days after surgery. The patients underwent surgery from 2009 to 2013 and were registered in the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database.


Here are five things to know:


1. There were 70.6 percent of the patients who received care at different hospitals than where the procedure was performed within 30 days after surgery. Twelve percent of the patients were readmitted at a different hospital than where their initial procedure was performed.


2. Around 29.4 percent of the patients who underwent spine surgery were evaluated at the same hospital as the initial procedure was performed; around 10.9 percent of patients were readmitted to the initial hospital.


3. Patients who were evaluated at the original hospital were associated with decreased rate of 30-day readmission. There were similar associations in a propensity score adjusted model.


4. The study authors’ findings correspond to seven patients needing to be evaluated in the original hospital to prevent one readmission.


5. The study findings highlight “the potential importance of continuity of care in readmission prevention for these patients.”

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