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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Brown: Racial Disparities in Readmission Rates Among Patients Discharged to Skilled Nursing Facilities

Researchers at the Brown University School of Public Health have recently published a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society outlining racial disparities in readmission rates among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries discharged to skilled nursing facilities. The study was lead by Dr. Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez, an assistant professor of health services, policy and practice at the School of Public Health.

The study used data from 2015 and combined data from the Minimum Data Set and the Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File. To obtain information about the facilities, they used the Long Term Care: Facts on Care in the United States and Nursing Home Compare Databases. The sample included 1,813,963 patients who were discharged to 13,375 skilled nursing facilities. The outcome, readmission was defined as being readmitted to the hospital from a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) within 30 days of discharge from the hospital.

The study showed that readmission rates amongst both fee for service patients and Medicare Advantage patients were higher for African-Americans and Hispanics than they were for white patients. There were also racial disparities in readmission rates within the same facility for both fee for service and Medicare Advantage patients.

The authors suggest that interventions to reduce racial disparities in readmission rates and quality control measures that take into consideration outcomes for Medicare Advantage patients, are both needed.

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