Association between prescription drug benefit and hospital readmission rates

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Hospital Pharmacy


Purpose: To determine whether primary care medicine clinic (PCMC) patients with a prescription drug benefit were associated with a lower rate of hospital readmissions. Methods: This study was a retrospective, single-center, cohort study of PCMC patients who had at least 1 hospital readmission in 2011. Eligible patients were divided into 2 groups: patients without prescription drug benefits and patients with prescription drug benefits. Results: Three hundred fifty-two patients met our inclusion criteria. The number of hospital readmissions for patients with a prescription drug benefit was higher than those with no prescription drug benefit (2.453 ± 2.49 vs 1.88 ± 1.91; P = .052). The length of index admission and the length of hospital readmission in days were higher in patients with no prescription drug benefits (index admission, 5.29 ± 6.38 vs 4.59 ± 4.50; P = .428) (readmission, 5.31 ± 5.90 vs 4.48 ± 4.33, P = .166). The number of days to readmission was higher in those with drug benefits (58.12 ± 63.54 vs 53.39 ± 53.47; P = .316). When patient data were separated by CCI scores, it was noted that patients with pharmacy benefits had significantly more hospital readmissions in each CCI score category except for patients with a CCI of 6. Conclusion: Although not statistically significant, patients with prescription drug benefits had more hospital readmissions but shorter hospital lengths of stay. Significant data linking hospital readmissions and prescription insurance benefits, if found in future studies, would provide helpful guidance to health care systems. © 2014 Thomas Land Publishers, Inc.

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