Leaving before discharge from a homeless Medical Respite program: predisposing factors and impact on selected outcomes

Joanna Bauer, Alice Moughamian, Joyce Viloria, Michelle Schneidermann
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2012, 23 (3): 1092-105

BACKGROUND: Medical Respite addresses care needs of homeless patients post-hospital discharge and is linked to reduced rehospitalization compared with standard discharge. However, outcomes may differ for Respite patients who exit before completing post-acute treatment and discharge plans.

METHODS: Using administrative data from a San Francisco Medical Respite center (2007-2010), this retrospective study compares patient characteristics, post-Respite connections to community services, and likelihood of rehospitalization within 90 days of Respite exit between patients who choose to leave before discharge and all other Respite patients (logistic regression, odds ratio).

FINDINGS: Of 860 encounters, 31% ended when patient chose to leave before discharge. Female gender (OR 1.65), living on the street immediately prior to Respite (OR 1.36) and substance use (OR 1.55) were associated with increased risk of leaving early. Patients who left early were more likely than others to decline referrals to services and more likely to be re-admitted within 90 days.

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