Oct. 28—Hospital patients who are discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are less likely to be readmitted within 30 days when their hospitals have strong connections with the SNFs to which they are transferred, according to a study published by Health Services Research.

Researchers evaluated claims for 2.8 million Medicare patients discharged to 15,063 SNFs from 2,477 general hospitals from 2004 to 2006. Overall, stronger hospital–SNF linkages, independent of hospital ownership, were found to reduce rehospitalization rates.

The researchers’ findings suggest that if the proportion of a hospital’s discharges to an SNF were to increase by 10 percentage points, the likelihood of patients treated by that particular hospital-SNF pairing to be rehospitalized within 30 days would decline by 1.2 percentage points, largely driven by fewer rehospitalizations within a week of hospital discharge.

Publication Date: Monday, October 28, 2013