Emergency Department Visits After Inpatient Discharge


See Main Hospital Readmissions and Revisits Web Page

Providers, payers, and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to whether the patient returns to the acute care setting at any level (emergency department (ED), observation, or inpatient) within 30 days of inpatient discharge. As efforts to improve care transitions evolve into increasingly cross-setting and community-based strategies, measuring the rate of ED visits after inpatient discharge may reveal opportunities to improve care transitions and reduce avoidable acute-level hospital use.

In this new report Emergency Department Visits After Inpatient Discharge: SFY2015, CHIA analyzed revisits—defined here as a visit to the ED within 30 days of an inpatient discharge—and provide a first statewide examination of revisits for the all-payer adult population in Massachusetts acute care hospitals.

Key Findings

  • Twenty-six percent of inpatient discharges were followed by a return to the ED within 30 days in state fiscal year 2015.

  • 30-day revisit rates varied among Massachusetts acute care hospitals, ranging from a low of 20.6% to a high of 34.5%.

  • The rates of revisits were the highest for younger adults, particularly Medicaid members and younger adults with Medicare (who typically qualify through a disability).

  • Behavioral health conditions were among those inpatient discharges with the highest volume and highest rates of 30-day revisits. 


 30 and 90 day revisit rates