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Wei MY. Multimorbidity, 30-Day Readmissions, and Postdischarge Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries Using a New ICD-Coded Multimorbidity-Weighted Index. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2023 Mar 30; 78(4):727-734.
BACKGROUND: Medically complex, disabled adults have high 30-day readmission rates. However, physical functioning is not routinely included in risk-adjustment models. We examined the association between multimorbidity with readmissions and mortality using a physical functioning weighted International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-coded multimorbidity-weighted index (MWI-ICD) representing 84 conditions. METHODS: We included Medicare beneficiaries with = 1 hospitalization 2000-2015 who participated in a Health and Retirement Study interview before admission. We computed MWI-ICD by summing physical functioning weighted conditions from Medicare claims. We examined 30-, 90-, and 365-day postdischarge mortality using multivariable logistic regression and length of stay through zero-inflated negative binomials. Models adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, education, net worth, and marital status/living arrangement. RESULTS: The final sample of 10 737 participants had mean ± standard deviation (SD) age 75.9 ± 8.7 years, MWI-ICD 14.9 ± 9.0, and 20% had a 30-day readmission. Adults in the highest versus lowest quartile MWI-ICD had 92% increased odds of 30-day readmission (odds ratio [OR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.65-2.22). A 1-point increase in MWI-ICD was associated with 24% increased odds of 30-day readmission (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.18-1.31). A 1-point increase in MWI-ICD was associated with 32% increased odds of death within 365-day postdischarge (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.25-1.40). Readmitted participants with the highest versus lowest quartile MWI-ICD had 37% increased number of expected hospitalized days (incidence rate ratio = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.17-1.59). CONCLUSION: Among Medicare beneficiaries, multimorbidity using MWI-ICD is associated with an increased risk of readmissions, mortality, and longer length of stay. MWI-ICD appears to be a valid measure of multimorbidity that embeds physical functioning and presents an opportunity to incorporate functional status into claims-based risk-adjustment models.