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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019 May;43(5):857-868. doi: 10.1111/acer.14021. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Predictors and Costs of 30-Day Readmissions After Index Hospitalizations for Alcohol-Related Disorders in U.S. Adults.

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College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Department of Health Services Research and Administration, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.
Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.



In 2015, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program mandated financial penalties to hospitals with greater rates of readmissions for certain conditions. Alcohol-related disorders (ARD) are the fourth leading cause of 30-day readmissions. Yet, there is a dearth of national-level research to identify high-risk patient populations and predictors of 30-day readmission. This study examined patient- and hospital-level predictors for index hospitalizations with principal diagnosis of ARD and predicted the cost of 30-day readmissions.


The 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database was used to identify ARD-related index hospitalizations. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate patient- and hospital-level predictors for readmissions, and a 2-part model was used to predict the incremental cost conditional upon readmission.


In 2014, 285,767 index hospitalizations for ARD were recorded, and 18.9% of ARD-associated hospitalizations resulted in at least one 30-day readmission. Patients who were males, aged 45 to 64 years, Medicaid enrollees, living in urban and low-income areas, or with 1 to 2 comorbidities had high risk of readmission. Index hospitalization costs were higher among readmitted patients ($8,840 vs. $8,036, p < 0.01). Predicted mean costs for readmissions on index stay with ARD were greater among those aged 45 to 64 years ($1,908, p < 0.001), Medicare enrollees ($2,133, p < 0.001), rural residents ($1,841, p < 0.01), living in high-income areas ($1,876, p < 0.001), with 4 or more comorbidities ($2,415, p < 0.001), or admitted in large metropolitan hospitals ($2,032, p < 0.001), with large number of beds ($1,964, p < 0.001), with government ownership ($2,109, p < 0.001), or with low volume of ARD cases ($2,155, p < 0.001).


One in 5 ARD-related index hospitalizations resulted in a 30-day readmission. Overall, costs of index hospitalizations for ARD were $2.3 billion, of which $512 million were spent on hospitalizations that resulted in at least 1 readmission. There is a need to develop patient-centric health programs to reduce readmission rates and costs among ARD patients.


30-Day Readmission; Alcohol-Related Disorders; Cost; Hospitalization; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


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