OBJECTIVE: To examine facility-level rates of all-cause, unplanned hospital readmissions for 30 days after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).
DESIGN: Observational design.
SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
PARTICIPANTS: Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (N=567,850 patient-stays).
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The outcome is all-cause, unplanned hospital readmission rates for IRFs. We adapted previous risk-adjustment and statistical approaches used for acute care hospitals to develop a hierarchical logistic regression model that estimates a risk-standardized readmission rate for each IRF. The IRF risk-adjustment model takes into account patient demographic characteristics, hospital diagnoses and procedure codes, function at IRF admission, comorbidities, and prior hospital utilization. We presented national distributions of observed and risk-standardized readmission rates and estimated confidence intervals to make statistical comparisons relative to the national mean. We also analyzed the number of days from IRF discharge until hospital readmission.
RESULTS: The national observed hospital readmission rate by 30 days postdischarge from IRFs was 13.1%. The mean unadjusted readmission rate for IRFs was 12.4%±3.5%, and the mean risk-standardized readmission rate was 13.1%±0.8%. The C-statistic for our risk-adjustment model was .70. Nearly three-quarters of IRFs (73.4%) had readmission rates that were significantly different from the mean. The mean number of days to readmission was 13.0±8.6 days and varied by rehabilitation diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the ability to assess 30-day, all-cause hospital readmission rates postdischarge from IRFs and the ability to discriminate between IRFs with higher- and lower-than-average hospital readmission rates.