Which readmissions may be preventable? lessons learned from a posthospitalization care transitions program for high-risk elders

Rozalina G. McCoy, Stephanie M. Peterson, Lynn S. Borkenhagen, Paul Y. Takahashi, Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir, Anupam Chandra, James M. Naessens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Care transitions programs have been shown to reduce hospital readmissions. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to evaluate effects of the Mayo Clinic Care Transitions (MCCTs) Program on potentially preventable and nonpreventable 30-day unplanned readmissions among high-risk elders. Research Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients enrolled in MCCT following hospitalization and propensity scorematched controls receiving usual primary care. Subjects: The subjects were primary care patients, who were 60 years or older, at high-risk for readmission, and hospitalized for any cause between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013. Measures: Hospital readmission within 30 days. The 3M algorithm was used to identify potentially preventable readmissions. Readmissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, a subset of preventable readmissions identified by the 3M algorithm, were also assessed. Results: The study cohort included 365 pairs of MCCT enrollees and propensity score-matched controls. Patients were similar in age (mean 83 y) and other baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, including reason for index hospitalization. MCCT enrollees had a significantly lower all-cause readmission rate [12.4% (95% confidence interval: CI, 8.9-15.7) vs. 20.1% (15.8-24.1); P= 0.004] resulting from a decrease in potentially preventable readmissions [8.4% (95% CI, 5.5-11.3) vs. 14.3% (95% CI, 10.5-17.9); P=0.01]. Few potentially preventable readmissions were for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (6.7% vs. 12.0%). The rates of nonpotentially preventable readmissions were similar [4.3% (95% CI, 2.2-6.5) vs. 6.7% (95% CI, 4.0-9.4); P=0.16]. Potentially preventable readmissions were reduced by 44% (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.36-0.88; P= 0.01) with no change in other readmissions. Conclusions: The MCCT significantly reduces preventable readmissions, suggesting that access to multidisciplinary care can reduce readmissions and improve outcomes for high-risk elders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-700
Number of pages8
JournalMedical care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Ambulatory care sensitive conditions
  • Care transitions
  • Discharge planning
  • Geriatrics
  • Health care quality
  • Health sciences research
  • Readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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