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Reducing Hospital Readmissions Among Medicaid Patients: A Review of the Literature

Regenstein, Marsha PhD; Andres, Ellie MPH, DrPH-c

Quality Management in Health Care:
doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000016
Original Articles

Reducing hospital readmissions is a key approach to curbing health care costs and improving quality and patient experience in the United States. Despite the proliferation of strategies and tools to reduce readmissions in the general population and among Medicare beneficiaries, few resources exist to inform initiatives to reduce readmissions among Medicaid beneficiaries. Patients covered by Medicaid also experience readmissions and are likely to experience distinct challenges related to socioeconomic status. This review aims to identify factors related to readmissions that are unique to Medicaid populations to inform efforts to reduce Medicaid readmissions. Our search yielded 254 unique results, of which 37 satisfied all review criteria. Much of the Medicaid readmissions literature focuses on patients with mental health or substance abuse issues, who are often high utilizers of health care within the Medicaid population. Risk factors such as medication noncompliance, postdischarge care environments, and substance abuse comorbidities increase the risk of readmission among Medicaid patients.

Author Information

Department of Health Policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, District of Columbia (Drs Regenstein and Andres).

Correspondence: Marsha Regenstein, PhD, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2121 K Street NW, Ste 200, Washington, DC 20037 (

This work was part of a larger project supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (contract no. HHSA290202010000301).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins