MONDAY, May 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Only a small proportion of patients receive home health care after discharge for an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), even though home health care is associated with a lower risk for 30-day readmission, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Quality of Care & Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions, held virtually from May 15 to 16.

Muhammad Adil Sheikh, M.B.B.S., from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from the National Readmission Database (January 2012 through December 2014) to identify 406,237 patients discharged home after AMI. Comparisons were made for readmissions between patients who were discharged home with (HHC+) and without HHC (HHC−).

The researchers found that 9.4 percent of patients received HHC, and these patients were older (mean age, 77 versus 60 years); more likely to be female (53.6 versus 26.9 percent); and more likely to have cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease. Patients readmitted were more likely to be older and have diabetes (risk ratio [RR], 1.42), CHF (RR, 5.89), or COPD (RR, 1.59). In a propensity-weighted adjusted analysis, HHC+ patients had significantly lower readmission risk (RR, 0.89) versus HHC− patients.

“Since hospital readmissions are costly due to the expenses associated with hospitalization, using home health care after discharge for heart attack patients can reduce health care costs for patients and medical systems,” Sheikh said in a statement. “This service should be utilized more often to potentially reduce hospital readmission rates.”

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