Race-Ethnic Disparities in 30-Day Readmission After Stroke Among Medicare Beneficiaries in the Florida Stroke Registry

      Abstract

      Objective: To examine racial/ethnic disparities in 30-day all-cause readmission after stroke. Methods: Thirty-day all-cause readmission was compared by race/ethnicity among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries discharged for ischemic stroke from hospitals in the Florida Stroke Registry from 2010 to 2013. We fit a Cox proportional hazards model that censored for death and adjusted for age, sex, length of stay, discharge home, and comorbidities to assess racial/ethnic differences in readmission. Results: Among 16,952 stroke patients (54% women, 75% white, 8% black, and 15% Hispanic), 30-day all-cause readmission was 15% (17.2% for blacks, 16.7% for Hispanics, 14.4% for whites, and 14.7% for others; P = .003). There was a median of 11 days between discharge and first readmission. In adjusted analyses, there was no significant difference in readmission for blacks (hazard ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 0.99-1.33), Hispanics (1.00, .90-1.13), and those of other race/ethnicity (.91, .71-1.16) compared with whites. Nearly 1 in 4 readmissions were attributable to acute cerebrovascular events: 16.6% ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, 1.5% hemorrhagic stroke, and 5.2% cerebral artery interventions. Interventions were more common among whites and those of other race than blacks and Hispanics (P = .029). Readmission due to pneumonia or urinary tract infection was 8.2%. Conclusions: Readmissions attributable to acute cerebrovascular events were common and generally occurred within 2 weeks of hospital discharge. Racial/ethnic disparities were present in readmissions for arterial interventions. Our results underscore the importance of postdischarge transitional care and the need for better secondary prevention strategies after ischemic stroke, particularly among minority populations.

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