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Hospital Readmission for Cellulitis Common, Costly

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2019 Feb 27; Fisher, et al

Readmission after hospitalization for cellulitis is common and costly and may be preventable with improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and discharge care coordination, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of cellulitis admissions from the nationally representative 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database calculated readmission rates for all cellulitis admissions and subsets of admissions. The multicenter population-based cohort included adult patients admitted for conditions other than obstetrical or newborn care. Data were collected from January 1 through November 30, 2014, and analyzed from February 1 through September 18, 2018. They found:

  • A total of 447,080 index admissions with a primary diagnosis of cellulitis (53.8% male; mean [SD] age, 56.1 [18.9] years) were included.
  • Overall 30-day all-cause non-elective readmission rate after cellulitis discharge was 9.8%.
  • Among patients with cellulitis, age (odds ratio [OR] for 45-64 years, 0.78) and insurance status (OR for Medicare, 2.45) were associated with increased readmission rates.
  • The most common diagnosis of readmissions included skin and subcutaneous tissue infections.
  • The total cost associated with non-elective readmissions attributed to skin and subcutaneous infections within 30 days of a cellulitis discharge during the study period was $114.4 million.


Fisher JM, Feng JY, Tan SY, Mostaghimi A. Analysis of readmissions following hospitalization for cellulitis in the United States. [Published online ahead of print February 27, 2019]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.4650.