According to a recent national study, one third of adult patients (21 and over) do not visit a doctor within 30 days of being discharged from a hospital. Over 17% had not seen a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant within 90 days after discharge. The Center for Studying Health System Change conducted the study for the National Institute for Health Care Reform.
The study found that over 8% of adults discharged from a hospital to the community were readmitted within 30 days, and over 32% were rehospitalized within one year.
Among the study’s other findings:
- gaps in post-discharge care are common for adults covered by all types of insurance;
- among people aged 21 to 64, readmission rates were highest for people with public coverage, especially Medicare or Medicaid (partly reflecting the relatively poor health of people in that age group who qualify for Medicare or Medicaid based on disability)
- 90% of people admitted to a hospital reported having a usual source of care, but that did not guarantee easy access to their provider (e.g., only about one third with a usual source of care reported that after-hours care was available).