Physician characteristics correlate with hospital readmission rates

Michael Skolka, Erik Lehman, Muhammad Khalid, Eileen Hennrikus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hospital readmission rates are used as a metric to measure quality patient care. While several tools predict readmissions based on patient-specific characteristics, this study assesses if physician characteristics correlate with hospital readmission rates.In a 5-year retrospective electronic record review at a single institution, 31 internal medicine attending physicians' discharges were tracked for a total of 70 physician years, and 15,933 hospital discharges. Each physician's yearly 7-day, 8 to 30-day, and 30-day readmission rates were compared. Each rate was also correlated with years of post-graduate clinical experience, discharge volume, physician sex, and fiscal year.Individual physicians had significantly different 7-day, 8 to 30-day, and 30-day readmission rates from each other. The rates were not related to sex, years after post-graduate training, or fiscal year. However, physician patient volume correlated with 7-day readmission rates. Physicians who discharged ≤100 patients per year had a higher 7-day readmission rate than physicians who discharged >100 patients per year. This correlation with patient volume did not hold for the 8 to 30-day and 30-day readmission rates.Individual physicians differ in their patient readmission rates in 7-day, 8 to 30-day, and 30-day categories. A critical level of a physician's hospital activity, as reflected by the number of patient discharges per year (>100), results in lower 7-day readmission rates. Sex, post-graduate years of clinical experience, and fiscal year did not play a role. The lack of correlation between each physicians' 7-day and 8 to 30-day readmission rates suggests that different physician factors are involved in these 2 rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e19363
JournalMedicine
Volume99
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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