UW-Madison: Study highlighting socioeconomic predictors of rehospitalization earns research award

Contact: Ian Clark

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MADISON, Wis. — Dr. Amy Kind’s retrospective study that found a patient’s zip code was a good predictor for readmission rates of older adult patients received lots of attention shortly after publication. The study, which suggests that patients from disadvantaged neighborhoods are at greater risk for rehospitalization regardless of their treating hospital, is garnering even more attention now.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholars Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that Kind’s work, “Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage and 30 Day Rehospitalization: A Retrospective Cohort Study,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the winner of the 2014 Best Research in Health & Society at UW-Madison prize. The study was co-authored by Steve Jencks, Jane Brock, Menggang Yu, Christie Bartels, William Ehlenbach, Caprice Greenberg, and Maureen Smith.

“This year’s competition saw many impressive nominations that suggest scholarship on health and society topics at UW-Madison is vibrant across the campus,” said John Mullahy, professor of population health sciences at the UW and RWJF Health & Society Scholars program leader. “The research conducted by Dr. Kind and her coauthors shows how social factors can have enormous influence on the quality of care delivered by health care systems.”

Kind is an assistant professor of medicine (geriatrics) at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Her research focuses primarily on patient safety during transitions between health care settings;Medicare claims and issues of rehospitalization in high-risk populations; and the impact of communication quality on system-to-system transitions.

This annual award is designed to call attention to scholarship published by faculty and/or academic staff that addresses aspects of population health or health and society, broadly defined, such as addressing the multiple determinants of health (e.g., biological, medical, behavioral, social, economic and environmental) and their important interactions over the life course; examining the measurement, distribution, or experiences of health; or evaluating interventions (at individual, community, or policy levels) for their impact on population health outcomes.