Outpatient follow-up visit and 30-day emergency department visit and readmission in patients hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Gulshan Sharma, Yong Fang Kuo, Jean L. Freeman, Dong D. Zhang, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Readmissions in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common and costly. We examined the effect of early follow-up visit with patient's primary care physician (PCP) or pulmonologist following acute hospitalization on the 30-day risk of an emergency department (ER) visit and readmission. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with an identifiable PCP who were hospitalized for COPD between 1996 and 2006. Three or more visits to a PCP in the year prior to the hospitalization established a PCP for a patient. We performed a Cox proportional hazard regression with time-dependent covariates to determine the risk of 30-day ER visit and readmission in patients with or without a follow-up visit to their PCP or pulmonologist. Results: Of the 62 746 patients admitted for COPD, 66.9% had a follow-up visit with their PCP or pulmonologist within 30 days of discharge. Factors associated with lower likelihood of outpatient follow-up visit were longer length of hospital stay, prior hospitalization for COPD, older age, black race, lower socioeconomic status, and emergency admission. Those receiving care at nonteaching, for-profit, and smaller-sized hospitals were more likely to have a follow-up visit. In a multivariate, time-dependent analysis, patients who had a follow-up visit had a significantly reduced risk of an ER visit (hazard ratio [HR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.90) and readmission (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87-0.96). Conclusion: Continuity with patient's PCP or pulmonologist after an acute hospitalization may lower rates of ER visits and readmission in patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1664-1670
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Volume170
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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