Background: Readmission following Heart failure (HF) hospitalization is common: 25% are readmitted within a month of discharge and ≈50% within 6 months. A small proportion of these patients can have multiple readmissions within this period, adding disproportionately to the health care costs. In this study, we assessed the trends, predictors and costs associated with multiple readmissions using National readmissions database (NRD). Methods: We queried NRD for HF hospitalizations from 2010 to 2018 using ICD-9/10-CM codes. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compare readmission cohorts, with the multivariable model adjusting for other factors. All analyses accounted for the NRD sampling design were conducted using SAS v. 9.4 with p < 0.05 used to indicate statistical significance. Results: Within the study period, an estimated 6,763,201 HF hospitalizations were identified. Of these, 58% had no readmission; 26% had 1 readmission; and 16% had ≥2 readmissions within 90 days of index hospitalization. There was no statistically significant change in readmission rates during the observation period. Multiple readmissions which accounted for 37% of all readmissions contributed to 57% of readmission costs. Younger age was identified as a predictor of multiple readmissions while sex, comorbidities and the type of insurance were not significantly different from those with single readmission. Conclusions: Multiple readmissions in HF are common (16%), have remained unchanged between 2010 and 2018 and impose a significant health care cost burden. Future research should focus on identifying these patients for targeted intervention that may minimize excessive readmissions particularly in those patients who are in the palliation phase of HF.
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