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J Pediatr. 2010 Jul;157(1):98-102.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.01.049. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

State-level child health system performance and the likelihood of readmission to children's hospitals.

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PolicyLab, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To assess the relationship between children's hospital readmission and the performance of child health systems in the states in which hospitals are located.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 197,744 patients 2 to 18 years old from 39 children's hospitals located in 24 states in the United States in 2005. Subjects were observed for a year after discharge for readmission to the same hospital. The odds of readmission were modeled on the basis of patient-level characteristics and state child health system performance as ranked by the Commonwealth Fund.


A total of 1.8% of patients were readmitted within a week, 4.8% within a month, and 16.3% within 365 days. After adjustment for patient-level characteristics, the probability of readmission varied significantly between states (P=.001), and the likelihood of readmission during the ensuing year increased as the states' health system performance ranking improved. States in the best ranking quartile had a 2.03% higher readmission rate than states in the lowest quartile (P=.02); the same directional relationship was observed for readmission intervals from 1 to 365 days after discharge.


Hospital readmission rates are significantly related to the performance of the surrounding health care system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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