Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Impact of Post Hospital Discharge Telephonic Intervention on Hospital Readmissions in a Privately Insured Population in Australia

G Hamar , Carter Coberley , James Pope , Andrew Cottrill , Scott Verrall , Shaun Larkin , Elizabeth Rula


Objective: To evaluate the effect of telephone support after hospital discharge to reduce early hospital readmission among members of the disease management program My Health Guardian (MHG) offered by the Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia (HCF). Methods: A quasi-experimental retrospective design compared 28-day readmissions of patients with chronic disease between two groups: a treatment group, MHG program members who participated in a hospital discharge (HODI) call, and a comparison group of nonparticipating MHG members. Study groups were matched on age group, gender, length of stay, index admission diagnoses, and prior MHG program exposure. Adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR) and odds ratios (OR) were estimated using zero-inflated negative binomial and logistic regression models, respectively. Results: The treatment group displayed a 29% lower incidence of 28-day readmissions (adjusted IRR=0.71, P<0.001, 95% CI 0.59-0.86) than the comparison group. The odds of treatment group members being readmitted at least once within 28 days of discharge were 25% lower than comparison members (adjusted OR=0.75, P=0.001, 95% CI 0.63-0.89). Reduction in readmission incidence was estimated to avoid $713,730 in cost. Conclusions: HODI program post-discharge telephonic support to patients recently discharged from a hospital effectively reduced the incidence and odds of hospital 28-day readmission in a diseased population.

AH16059  Accepted 02 February 2017

© CSIRO 2017