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Research Letter
December 28, 2018

Association of Extending Hospital Length of Stay With Reduced Pediatric Hospital Readmissions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Children’s Hospital Association, Lenexa, Kansas
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City
  • 4Division of General Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 5Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 6Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(2):186-188. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3815

Hospital readmission rates are widely used as a quality measure for hospitalized patients. Hospital readmission gained attention largely from concerns about the quality of discharge care, including those patients discharged before they were adequately prepared to leave the hospital.1 In adult patients, shorter index hospitalization length of stay (LOS) is associated with a higher risk of hospital readmission for some conditions.2 This association has not been shown in children,3 and it remains unknown whether specific pediatric conditions might benefit from increasing LOS. Therefore, this study explored the association between index hospitalization LOS and pediatric readmissions by capitalizing on the natural variation in LOS across patients and hospitals.