Guidry News Service recently visited with Dr. James Graham, a member of a University of Texas Medical Branch research team that determined that nearly 12 percent of Medicare patients who receive inpatient rehabilitation following discharge from acute-care hospitalization are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after discharge from the rehabilitation facility.
“Dr. Ken Ottenbacher is the lead on this and he recently got an RO1 (research project grant) to look at readmission rates after post-acute care for patients in in-patient rehab,” Dr. Graham explained. “When you look at the Affordable Care Act and some of the changes in health care over the past 10 years or so, post-acute care has kind of been second page news as far as the Medicare and the providers are concerned. But, recently with the growth of the cost, post-acute care proportionately would outpace all other care, for Medicare at least.”
Graham said the research addresses a timely issue.
“Obviously, someone who gets discharged from a hospital to the community is different from someone who gets discharged from a hospital that needs post-acute care,” Dr. Graham said. “And so it was just really kind of the time to get that kind of stuff out there, so it’s great that Dr. Ottenbacher had the wherewithal; and this is where we are.”
“So, this is as much statistical research as it is medical research?” we asked.
“Yes, it’s called secondary data analysis,” Dr. Graham replied. “We use Medicare claims data and stuff like that.”
He said the research sampled about 760,000 patients.
“These come down to real experiences that people are going through,” he said. “A readmission is a number, but somebody did not have a good outcome; and they had to go back to the hospital.”
For the official UTMB news release on this research Click Here.