March 30, 2023
Research shows younger people living with lupus and those living in rural or disadvantaged areas are less likely to have a follow-up appointment with their doctor shortly after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. One quarter of people with lupus are hospitalized every year, and one-third are re-hospitalized within 30 days, underscoring the importance of timely outpatient care.
Looking at data from 8,606 adults hospitalized with lupus on Medicare, researchers found that 35% lacked follow-up within 30 days overall. That follow-up rate is worse than the rate reported among people with other chronic diseases.
People with lupus who also exhibited the following characteristics were less likely to have a timely follow-up appointment after hospital discharge:
- More co-occurring illnesses
- A longer hospital length-of-stay
- Rural place of residency
- Greater neighborhood disadvantage
In the 65 years and older cohort, receiving timely follow-up care was associated with a 65% lower mortality rate in the month following hospital discharge, highlighting the tremendous value of outpatient treatment in this population in particular.
Regular preventative and follow-up care is critically important to living well with lupus, yet many struggle to get the medical support they need. Learn more about barriers to lupus diagnosis and care.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America | lupus.org