Original Study| Volume 22, ISSUE 12, P2461-2467, December 2021

Variation in 30-Day Readmission Rates from Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities to Acute Care Hospitals



      To quantify the rate of readmission from inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) to acute care hospitals (ACHs) during the first 30 days of rehabilitation stay. To measure variation in 30-day readmission rate across IRFs, and the extent that patient and facility characteristics contribute to this variation.


      Retrospective analysis of an administrative database.

      Setting and Participants

      Adult IRF discharges from 944 US IRFs captured in the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database between October 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017.


      Multilevel logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted rates of readmission within 30 days of IRF admission and examine variation in IRF readmission rates, using patient and facility-level variables as predictors.


      There were a total of 104,303 ACH readmissions out of a total of 1,102,785 IRFs discharges. The range of 30-day readmission rates to ACHs was 0.0%‒28.9% (mean = 8.7%, standard deviation = 4.4%). The adjusted readmission rate variation narrowed to 2.8%‒17.5% (mean = 8.7%, standard deviation = 1.8%). Twelve patient-level and 3 facility-level factors were significantly associated with 30-day readmission from IRF to ACH. A total of 82.4% of the variance in 30-day readmission rate was attributable to the model predictors.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Fifteen patient and facility factors were significantly associated with 30-day readmission from IRF to ACH and explained the majority of readmission variance. Most of these factors are nonmodifiable from the IRF perspective. These findings highlight that adjusting for these factors is important when comparing readmission rates between IRFs.


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