We examined risks for first hospitalization and the rate, risk factors, costs, and 1-year outcome of 30-day readmission among patients admitted for complications of cirrhosis. Data were retrospectively analyzed for adult patients with cirrhosis residing in Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin and admitted from 2010 through 2013 at both campuses of the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, MN. Readmission was captured at the two hospitals as well as at community hospitals in the tristate area within the Mayo Clinic Health System. The incidence of hospitalization for complications of cirrhosis was 100/100,000 population, with increasing age and male sex being the strongest risks for hospitalization. For the 2,048 hospitalized study patients, the overall 30-day readmission rate was 32%; 498 (24.3%) patients were readmitted to Mayo Clinic hospitals and 157 (7.7%) to community hospitals, mainly for complications of portal hypertension (52%) and infections (30%). Readmission could not be predicted accurately. There were 146 deaths during readmission and an additional 105 deaths up to 1 year of follow-up (50.4% total mortality). Annual postindex hospitalization costs for those with a 30-day readmission were substantially higher ($73,252) than those readmitted beyond 30 days ($62,053) or those not readmitted ($5,719). At 1-year follow-up, only 20.4% of patients readmitted within 30 days were at home. In conclusion, patients with cirrhosis have high rates of hospitalization, especially among men over 65 years, and of unscheduled 30-day readmission. Readmission cannot be accurately predicted. Postindex hospitalization costs are high; nationally, the annual costs are estimated to be more than $4.45 billion. Only 20% of patients readmitted within 30 days are home at 1 year. (Hepatology Communications 2018;2:188–198).
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