Incidence and Characteristics Associated with Hospital Readmission after Discharge to Home Hospice

Thuy Cao, Amy Johnson, Justin Coogle, Adam Zuzelski, Sharon Fitzgerald, Vishal Kapadia, Ky Stoltzfus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Home hospice is designed to provide comfort to patients at the end of their life and hospital readmission is incongruent with this goal. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence of and characteristics associated with hospital readmissions from home hospice over a two-year period. Design/Subjects: This was a retrospective cohort study of 705 inpatients discharged from a quaternary academic medical center to home hospice from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Measures: The primary outcome was incidence of hospital readmission after discharge to home hospice. Multivariate regression with stepwise forward selection was used to identify characteristics associated with readmission. Results: The incidence of readmission was found to be 10.50% (n = 74), and the median days from discharge to readmission were 32.50 days (interquartile range = 14.00, 75.00). Reasons for readmission were: unanticipated new medical issue (n = 33, 44.59%), uncontrolled symptoms (n = 25, 33.78%), misunderstanding of hospice status (n = 12, 16.22%), and caregiver distress (n = 4, 5.41%). The following characteristics were associated with readmission: female versus male (odds ratio [OR] = 1.96; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16-3.32), non-white versus white (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.36-4.24), and hospice diagnosis of cardiac disease versus all other diagnoses (OR = 4.40; 95% CI: 2.06-9.37). Conclusions: Compared with prior studies, our findings showed a lower incidence of readmission, 10.50%, from home hospice. In addition, those who are female, non-white, or have a hospice diagnosis of cardiac disease are more likely to be readmitted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • home hospice
  • hospice
  • palliative care
  • readmission
  • rehospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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