PloS one 2017 01 2712(1) e0170061 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0170061
Thirty-day readmission rates after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure are important patient outcome metrics. Early post-discharge physician follow-up has been promoted as a method of reducing 30-day readmission rates. However, the relationships between early post-discharge follow-up and 30-day readmission for AMI and heart failure are inconclusive. We used nationwide population-based data to examine associations between 7-day physician follow-up and 30-day readmission, and further associations of 7-day same physician (during the index hospitalization and at follow-up) and cardiologist follow-up with 30-day readmission for non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) or heart failure.
We analyzed all patients 18 years or older with NSTEMI and heart failure and discharged from hospitals in 2010 in Taiwan through Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Cox proportional hazard models with robust sandwich variance estimates and propensity score weighting were performed after adjustment for patient and hospital characteristics to test associations between 7-day physician follow-up and 30-day readmission.
The study population for NSTEMI and heart failure included 5,008 and 13,577 patients, respectively. Early physician follow-up was associated with a lower hazard ratio of readmission compared with no early physician follow-up for patients with NSTEMI (hazard ratio [HR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39-0.57), and for patients with heart failure (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.48-0.60). Same physician follow-up was associated with a reduced hazard ratio of readmission compared with different physician follow-up for patients with NSTEMI (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.48-0.65), and for patients with heart failure (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.62-0.76).
For each condition, patients who have an outpatient visit with a physician within 7 days of discharge have a lower risk of 30-day readmission. Moreover, patients who have an outpatient visit with the same physician within 7 days of discharge have a much lower risk of 30-day readmission.