Using hospital use trends to improve transitional care

Joe Feinglass*, Celeste A. Mallama, Angela Rogers, Caroline Teter, Courtney Hurt, Christine Schaeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: This study evaluates the Northwestern Medicine Group Transitional Care clinic (NMG-TC), which transitions patients from an urban hospital to primary care at partner community clinics. We evaluate change over the 55 month study period in emergency department, observation or inpatient use within 90 days of an initial NMG-TC visit. Methods: Electronic health records were used to determine patient demographic, insurance and clinical characteristics, including inflation-adjusted total hospital charges in the 90 days prior and the 90 days after an initial NMG-TC visit. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of any 90-day post-NMG-TC visit hospital use, controlled for the simultaneous effects of patient characteristics and pre-visit hospital use level. Results: There were 3318 patients with 90-day follow-up of whom 28.5% had 90 day post-visit hospital encounters. Patients with cancer, infectious disease or pain diagnoses at the time of a NMG-TC visit had the highest 90-day post-visit hospital use. The level of pre-NMG-TC visit hospital charges, the number of NMG-TC visit diagnostic categories and the number of NMG-TC visits all showed a sharply graded effect on subsequent hospital use. Patients with a first NMG-TC visit in the last nine months of the study (2015–2016) had a 38% lower likelihood of any 90-day hospital use (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.45–0.84) as compared to patients seen in 2011–2012. Conclusion and implications: Reduced post-visit hospital use is likely related to increased clinic resources, Affordable Care Act insurance expansions, and improved clinical and community social service expertise. Level of evidence: Cohort study, Level 2

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Co-located Behavioral Health Care
  • Hospital Readmission
  • Transitional Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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