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Readmissions for Severe Sepsis Are as Common as Those for Heart Failure and Pneumonia

NYU data presented at thoracic conference

Severe sepsis is a significant cause of rehospitalization along the lines of nationally recognized outcome measures and more commonly discussed conditions, such as heart failure (HF) and pneumonia, according to Darya Rudym, MD, of the New York University School of Medicine, lead author of a study presented at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

“Severe sepsis continues to be a common cause of hospitalization and has associated high costs,” Rudym said.

Although some quality measures associated with sepsis have been previously studied, such as length of stay, Rudym and her colleagues aimed to study the rate of readmission within 30 days after discharge with a diagnosis of severe sepsis. The researchers wanted to compare this rate with the readmission rates for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-reported outcomes, such as acute myocardial infarction (MI), HF, and pneumonia.

The researchers examined inpatient discharges from Bellevue Hospital in New York City between July 2011 and July 2014 and identified subsequent readmissions to the hospital within 30 days.

Rudym and her team monitored a total of 22,712 discharges; of these, 3,477 patients (15.3%) were readmitted within a month. Using three different reporting methods for the identification of severe sepsis –– Angus, Martin, and the explicit International Classification of Diseases-9-CM sepsis codes –– 1,801, 798, and 579 patients, respectively, were identified as having been discharged with severe sepsis. Of those patients, 266 (14.8%), 119 (14.9%), and 71 (12.3%) were readmitted within 30 days, respectively. In comparison, the readmission rates were 8.7% for MI, 15.0% for HF, and 14.5% for pneumonia.

“Readmission rates in severe sepsis are shown not to be significantly different from readmission rates in heart failure and pneumonia,” Rudym concluded.

Sources: FierceHealthcare; May 21, 2015; and Medical Xpress; May 18, 2015.

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