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For 1 in 10 Medicaid Patients, It's Back to the Hospital in Less Than a Month

AHRQ News and Numbers, April 14, 2010

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

One of every 10 adult Medicaid patients who were hospitalized in 2007 for a medical condition other than childbirth had to be readmitted at least once within 30 days of their initial hospital stay that year, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Federal agency's analysis shows that these Medicaid patients were 70 percent more likely to be readmitted at least once within 30 days, compared with their privately insured counterparts.

The analysis also found that the number of underlying health problems Medicaid patients had increased their likelihood of readmission. For example, 14 percent of Medicaid patients with three or more underlying health problems were readmitted within 30 days of their previous hospital stay compared with 10 percent of those who had no health problems other than the one for which they were admitted.

The highest hospital readmission rates among Medicaid patients were for:

  • HIV/AIDS—17 percent.
  • Blood-related disorders—14 percent.
  • Alcohol or substance abuse—13 percent.
  • Kidney and urinary tract disorders—12 percent.
  • Gall bladder, liver, and pancreatic problems—12 percent.
  • Mental disorders—12 percent.
  • Infections—12 percent.
  • Respiratory disorders—11 percent.
  • Diabetes and related metabolic problems—11 percent.

High hospital readmission rates have been drawing increasing attention from policymakers because they may reflect issues with the health care provided in the hospitals or lack of discharge planning and outpatient follow-up and they have the potential to drive up health care costs.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in All-Cause Hospital Readmission Rates among Non-Elderly Medicaid Patients, 2007. The report uses statistics from the 2007 HCUP 2007 State Inpatient Databases for 10 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee. For pediatrics, only three states are included in the analysis: Arizona, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of April 2010
Internet Citation: For 1 in 10 Medicaid Patients, It's Back to the Hospital in Less Than a Month: AHRQ News and Numbers, April 14, 2010. April 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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