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Objectives: Readmission rate is increasingly being viewed as a key indicator of health system performance. Medication regimen complexity index scores may be predictive of readmissions; however, few studies have examined this potential association. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether medication regimen complexity index is associated with all-cause 30-day readmission after admission for heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Methods: This study was an institutional review board–approved, multi-center, case–control study. Patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were randomly selected for inclusion. Patients were excluded if they discharged against medical advice or expired during their index visit. Block randomization was utilized for equal representation of index diagnosis and site. Discharge medication regimen complexity index scores were compared between subjects with readmission versus those without. Medication regimen complexity index score was then used as a predictor in logistic regression modeling for readmission.

Results: Seven hundred and fifty-six patients were randomly selected for inclusion, and 101 (13.4%) readmitted within 30days. The readmission group had higher medication regimen complexity index scores than the no-readmission group (p<0.01). However, after controlling for demographics, disease state, length of stay, site, and medication count, medication regimen complexity index was no longer a significant predictor of readmission (odds ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.97–1.01) or revisit (odds ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.98–1.02).

Conclusion: There is little evidence to support the use of medication regimen complexity index in readmission prediction when other measures are available. Medication regimen complexity index may lack sufficient sensitivity to capture an effect of medication regimen complexity on all-cause readmission.

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Originally published by SAGE in SAGE Open Medicine, 4 [Article 2050312116632426]. Please see the recommended citation above for full citation information. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. doi:10.1177/2050312116632426