BACKGROUND - : Hospital readmission rates within 30 days after acute myocardial infarction are a national performance metric. Previous data suggest that early physician follow-up after heart failure hospitalizations can reduce readmissions; whether these results can be extended to acute myocardial infarction is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS - : We analyzed data from the Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes With Early Implementation of the ACC/AHA Guidelines (CRUSADE) Registry linked with Medicare claims from 2003 to 2006 for 25 872 non-ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction patients ≥65 years of age discharged home from 228 hospitals with >25 patients and full revascularization capabilities. After adjusting for patient, treatment, and hospital characteristics, we examined the relationship between hospital-level physician follow-up within 7 days of discharge and 30-day all-cause readmission using logistic regression. The median hospital-level percentage of patients receiving early physician follow-up was 23.3% (interquartile range, 17.1%-29.1%). Among 24 165 patients with Medicare fee-for-service eligibility 30 days after discharge, 18.5% of patients were readmitted within 30 days of index hospitalization. Unadjusted and adjusted rates of 30-day readmission did not differ among quartiles of hospital-level early physician follow-up. Similarly, each 5% increase in hospital early follow-up was associated with an insignificant change in risk for readmission (adjusted odds ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.02; P=0.60). Sensitivity analyses extended these null findings to 30-day cardiovascular readmissions, high-risk subgroups, and early cardiology follow-up. CONCLUSIONS - : Although rates of early physician follow-up after acute myocardial infarction varied among US hospitals, hospitals with higher early follow-up rates did not have lower 30-day readmission rates. Targeting strategies other than early physician follow-up may be necessary to reduce readmissions in this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)