Journal Article

Impact of a national campaign on hospital readmissions in home care patients

Charles Price Schade, Eve Esslinger, Donna Anderson, Yinghua Sun and Bethany Knowles

in International Journal for Quality in Health Care

Published on behalf of International Society for Quality in Health Care

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 176-182
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 1353-4505
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3677 | DOI:
Impact of a national campaign on hospital readmissions in home care patients

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Assess impact of nationwide home health quality improvement campaign to reduce acute care hospitalization of home health recipients.


Observational pre–post comparison of self-selected participating and non-participating agencies' quality performance; survey to determine uptake of program materials.


US home health care agencies.


A total of 147 agencies with 147 non-participating agencies matched on patient length of service, pre-intervention hospitalization rate and pre-intervention rate of change in hospitalization rate.


Public events; provision of educational packages and technical assistance; quality measure feedback.

Main outcome measure(s)

Post-intervention difference in risk-adjusted acute care hospitalization rate between participants and non-participants; difference in self-reported campaign material use between agencies whose hospitalization rate declined 2% or more and those whose rates increased by 2% or more.


Hospitalization rate had a negative trend beginning before the campaign. In the matched pairs studied, it did not differ significantly between participants and non-participants, or from pre- to post-intervention period (28% in every case). Agencies that improved were more likely to report activities consistent with the campaign and using campaign interventions than those not improving (P < 0.001), regardless of participation status.


Merely agreeing to participate in the campaign did not improve performance, but effective participation through adoption of campaign methods did.

Keywords: home care services; patient readmission; program evaluation

Journal Article.  3867 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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