Care trajectories of chronically ill older adult patients discharged from hospital: A quantitative cross-sectional study using health insurance claims data

Yvonne de Man, Femke Atsma, Wilma Jonkers, Sophia E. J. A. de Rooij, Gert P. Westert, Patrick P. T. Jeurissen, A. Stef Groenewoud

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Background: For older adults, a good transition from hospital to the primary or long-term care setting can decrease readmissions. This paper presents the 6-month post-discharge healthcare utilization of older adults and describes the numbers of readmissions and deaths for the most frequently occurring aftercare arrangements as a starting point in optimizing the post-discharge healthcare organization. Methods: This cross-sectional study included older adults insured with the largest Dutch insurance company. We described the utilization of healthcare within 180 days after discharge from their first hospital admission of 2015 and the most frequently occurring combinations of aftercare in the form of geriatric rehabilitation, community nursing, long-term care, and short stay during the first 90 days after discharge. We calculated the proportion of older adults that was readmitted or had died in the 90-180 days after discharge for the six most frequent combinations. We performed all analyses in the total group of older adults and in a sub-group of older adults who had been hospitalized due to a hip fracture. Results: A total of 31.7% of all older adults and 11.4% of the older adults with a hip fracture did not receive aftercare. Almost half of all older adults received care of a community nurse, whereas less than 5% received long-term home care. Up to 18% received care in a nursing home during the 6 months after discharge. Readmissions were lowest for older adults with a short stay and highest in the group geriatric rehabilitation + community nursing. Mortality was lowest in the total group of older aldults and subgroup with hip fracture without aftercare. Conclusions: The organization of post-discharge healthcare for older adults may not be organized sufficiently to guarantee appropriate care to restore functional activity. Although receiving aftercare is not a clear predictor of readmissions in our study, the results do seem to indicate that older adults receiving community nursing in the first 90 days less often die compared to older adults with other types of aftercare or no aftercare. Future research is necessary to examine predictors of readmissions and mortality in both older adult patients discharged from hospital.
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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