The likelihood of readmission increased for patients over age 65, those with chronic conditions, those who were discharged to a nursing facility or home health care, and those who had been hospitalized within three months prior to a coronavirus-related hospitalization.
Further, the CDC found that up to 1.6% of discharged patients had multiple readmissions within two months of discharge.
The report analyzed data from 106,543 patients who had been discharged after an index COVID-19 hospitalization, but the health agency noted that the coronavirus diagnoses were not confirmed in a laboratory. However, the CDC noted that its findings were comparable to other published analyses that determined a similar group of chronic conditions was associated with hospital readmission.
“After hospitalization for COVID-19, the most common primary discharge diagnosis from hospital readmission were disease of the circulatory, digestive, or respiratory systems,” according to the CDC report. “Future work will examine the detailed diagnoses recorded during readmissions to better understand COVID-19 sequelae or health conditions that require extended or ongoing care.”
The CDC said planning for the possibility of acute and follow-up care and accounting for the potential for readmission among recently released coronavirus patients can help hospitals better prepare for spikes in cases.
“With the recent increase in cases nationwide, hospital planning can account for these increasing numbers along with the potential for at least 9% of patients to be readmitted, requiring additional beds and resources,” the report said. “Continued public health messaging and interventions to prevent COVID-19 among older persons and those with underlying medical conditions is essential.”
On Monday, the U.S. passed a grim milestone as the number of coronavirus cases recorded since the pandemic began ticked higher than 10 million. The news came on the same day that Pfizer reported promising findings from their clinical trial, which found its vaccine to be 90% effective after a two-dose regimen.