Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Potentially Avoidable Readmissions in United States Hemodialysis Patients.



Patients with end-stage kidney disease have a high risk of 30-day readmission to hospital. These readmissions are financially costly to health care systems and are associated with poor health-related quality of life. The objective of this study was to describe and analyze the frequency, causes, and predictors of 30-day potentially avoidable readmission to hospital in patients on hemodialysis.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the US Renal Data System data from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2008. A total of 107,940 prevalent United States hemodialysis patients with 248,680 index hospital discharges were assessed for the main outcome of 30-day potentially avoidable readmission, as identified by a computerized algorithm.


Of 83,209 30-day readmissions, 59,045 (70.1%) resulted in a 30-day potentially avoidable readmission. The geographic distribution of 30-day potentially avoidable readmission in the United States varied by state. Characteristics associated with 30-day potentially avoidable readmission included the following: younger age, shorter time on hemodialysis, at least 3 or more hospitalizations in preceding 12 months, black race, unemployed status, treatment at a for-profit facility, longer length of index hospital stay, and index hospitalizations that involved a surgical procedure. The 5-, 15-, and 30-day potentially avoidable readmission cumulative incidences were 6.0%, 15.1%, and 25.8%, respectively.


Patients with end-stage kidney disease on maintenance hemodialysis are at high risk for 30-day readmission to hospital, with nearly three-quarters (70.1%) of all 30-day readmissions being potentially avoidable. Research is warranted to develop cost-effective and transferrable interventions that improve care transitions from hospital to outpatient hemodialysis facility and reduce readmission risk for this vulnerable population.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View