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01.07.2015 | Original Research | Ausgabe 7/2015

Journal of General Internal Medicine 7/2015

A Patient Navigator Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions among High-Risk Safety-Net Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Zeitschrift:
Journal of General Internal Medicine > Ausgabe 7/2015
Autoren:
MD Richard B. Balaban, MD, MPH Alison A. Galbraith, PhD Marguerite E. Burns, MD Catherine E. Vialle-Valentin, MD Marc R. Larochelle, ScD Dennis Ross-Degnan
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11606-015-3185-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

NIH Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01619098

Abstract

Background

Evidence-based interventions to reduce hospital readmissions may not generalize to resource-constrained safety-net hospitals.

Objective

To determine if an intervention by patient navigators (PNs), hospital-based Community Health Workers, reduces readmissions among high risk, low socioeconomic status patients.

Design

Randomized controlled trial.

Participants

General medicine inpatients having at least one of the following readmission risk factors: (1) age ≥60 years, (2) any in-network inpatient admission within the past 6 months, (3) length of stay ≥3 days, (4) admission diagnosis of heart failure, or (5) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The analytic sample included 585 intervention patients and 925 controls.

Interventions

PNs provided coaching and assistance in navigating the transition from hospital to home through hospital visits and weekly telephone outreach, supporting patients for 30 days post-discharge with discharge preparation, medication management, scheduling of follow-up appointments, communication with primary care, and symptom management.

Main Measures

The primary outcome was in-network 30-day hospital readmissions. Secondary outcomes included rates of outpatient follow-up. We evaluated outcomes for the entire cohort and stratified by patient age >60 years (425 intervention/584 controls) and ≤60 years (160 intervention/341 controls).

Key Results

Overall, 30-day readmission rates did not differ between intervention and control patients. However, the two age groups demonstrated marked differences. Intervention patients >60 years showed a statistically significant adjusted absolute 4.1 % decrease [95 % CI: −8.0 %, -0.2 %] in readmission with an increase in 30-day outpatient follow-up. Intervention patients ≤60 years showed a statistically significant adjusted absolute 11.8 % increase [95 % CI: 4.4 %, 19.0 %] in readmission with no change in 30-day outpatient follow-up.

Conclusions

A patient navigator intervention among high risk, safety-net patients decreased readmission among older patients while increasing readmissions among younger patients. Care transition strategies should be evaluated among diverse populations, and younger high risk patients may require novel strategies.

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