Variations in nationwide readmission patterns after umbilical hernia repair

Sarah A. Eidelson, Joshua Parreco, Michelle B. Mulder, Arjuna Dharmaraja, L. Renee Hilton, Rishi Rattan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Up to one in three readmissions occur at a different hospital and are thus missed by current quality metrics. There are no national studies examining 30-day readmission, including to different hospitals, after umbilical hernia repair (UHR). We tested the hypothesis that a large proportion were readmitted to a different hospital, that risk factors for readmission to a different hospital are unique, and that readmission costs differed between the index and different hospitals. The 2013 to 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database was queried for patients admitted for UHR, and cost was calculated. Multivariate logistic regression identified risk factors for 30-day readmission at index and different hospitals. There were 102,650 admissions for UHR and 8.9 per cent readmissions, of which 15.8 per cent readmissions were to a different hospital. The most common reason for readmission was infection (25.8%). Risk factors for 30-day readmission to any hospital include bowel resection, index admission at a for-profit hospital, Medicare, Medicaid, and Charlson Comorbidity Index 2. Risk factors for 30-day readmission to a different hospital include elective operation, drug abuse, discharge to a skilled nursing facility, and leaving against medical advice. The median cost of initial admission was higher in those who were readmitted ($16,560 [$10,805-$29,014] vs $11,752 [$8151-$17,724], P < 0.01). The median cost of readmission was also higher among those readmitted to a different hospital ($9826 [$5497-$19,139] vs $9227 [$5211-$16,817], P 5 0.02). After UHR, one in six readmissions occur at a different hospital, have unique risk factors, and are costlier. Current hospital benchmarks fail to capture this subpopulation and, therefore, likely underestimate UHR readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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