Colo. – A team of researchers led by a University of Colorado
School of Medicine faculty member found that measures to evaluate readmission
rates at children’s hospitals would be more accurate if the social factors of
the patients are included.
study, “Adding Social Determinant Data Changes Children’s Hospitals’
Readmissions Performance,” published online this month by The
Journal of Pediatrics, shows that social factors that are outside the
hospitals’ control have an effect on the risk of readmission and should be
included in any rating system that considers readmission rates as part of the
study shows that social determinants of health are important factors that can
impact penalties that are levied for readmissions,” said lead author Marion
Sills, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of
Medicine. “As a result, evaluating hospital performance and setting
pay-for-performance measures should include those factors.”
determinants of health include such factors as race and ethnicity, public
insurance and median household income.
concern is that most readmission penalty measures do not include adjustment for
social determinants of health despite evidence that these factors have a
greater impact on overall health than the healthcare received,” Sills said.
team of researchers evaluated 458,686 discharges at 47 hospitals reporting data
to the Pediatric Health Information database between January 2014 and December
2014. Their analysis was adjusted for factors that included information related
to socio-economic data for households by ZIP Code. The team found that
performance rankings changed for 77 percent of the hospitals when such factors
were included in the analysis.
article lists 12 authors from institutions across the country. The study used
data and analytic support from the Children’s Hospital Association’s Pediatric
Health Information System (PHIS), which includes administrative and billing
data from 47 independent children’s hospitals nationwide. The study was
supported with grant funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute, the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal Child Health
Research program and the National Institutes of Health Clinical and
Translational Science Award program.