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Neurology. 2019 Jun 11;92(24):e2822-e2831. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007645. Epub 2019 May 24.

Hospital admission and readmission among homeless patients with neurologic disease.

Author information

1
From the Department of Neurology and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco. nicole.rosendale@ucsf.edu.
2
From the Department of Neurology and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To characterize the most common neurologic diagnoses leading to hospitalization for homeless compared to housed individuals and to assess whether homelessness is an independent risk factor for 30-day readmission after an admission for a neurologic illness.

METHODS:

We performed a retrospective serial cross-sectional study using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project California State Inpatient Database from 2006 to 2011. Adult patients with a primary neurologic discharge diagnosis were included. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission. We used multilevel logistic regression to examine the association between homelessness and readmission after adjustment for patient factors.

RESULTS:

We identified 1,082,347 patients with a neurologic primary diagnosis. The rate of homelessness was 0.37%. The most common indications for hospitalization among homeless patients were seizure and traumatic brain injury, both of which were more common in the homeless compared to housed population (19.3% vs 8.1% and 31.9% vs 9.2%, respectively, p < 0.001). A multilevel mixed-effects model controlling for patient age, sex, race, insurance type, comorbid conditions, and clustering on the hospital level found that homelessness was associated with increased 30-day readmission (odds ratio 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.4-1.6, p < 0.001). This association persisted after this analysis was repeated within specific diagnoses (patients with epilepsy, trauma, encephalopathy, and neuromuscular disease).

CONCLUSION:

The most common neurologic reasons for admission among homeless patients are seizure and traumatic brain injury; these patients are at high risk for readmission. Future interventions should target the drivers of readmissions in this vulnerable population.

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