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Post-Discharge Activity Level Linked to Risk of Hospital Readmission in Elderly

(Science Daily) A new study has found a link between the activity levels of elderly people who have just been released from the hospital and the risk that they will require readmission within 30 days…
"We're using activity here as a biomarker, similar to the way you might use blood pressure," said University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston assistant professor Steve R. Fisher, lead author of a paper in Journals of Gerontology Series A. "While we can't say whether activity is a cause or effect in these cases, we can use it as a marker to tell us whether a person is at high risk and we need to intervene."
Geriatricians want to reduce readmissions among the elderly because hospitalization can actually endanger their health by reducing activity levels and contributing to debilitating muscle loss. Hospitals have an additional motivation: In October 2012, Medicare began financially penalizing hospitals with higher than expected 30-day readmission rates for certain diagnoses.
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