Original CSMS Research Presented in ACOG Journal: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Readmissions After Delivery

For immediate release
November 10, 2015

(North Haven, CT) – The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) believes that the identification of health disparities among and within Connecticut’s increasingly diverse population is central to providing quality patient medical care. Original research data from a multi-year CSMS readmission disparities study was used in an article published in the November issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the “Green Journal”).

The study, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Readmissions After Delivery, was authored by CSMS members Mark DeFrancesco, MD and Steven Fleischman, MD; CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz; and   Robert Aseltine, PhD and Jun Yan, PhD of the Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut.

The authors observed significant racial and ethnic disparities in readmissions for procedures related to childbirth, using a statewide database capturing all payers across all acute care hospital settings. Compared with white women, black women were twice as likely and Hispanic women 40–50% more likely to be readmitted within 30 days of vaginal or cesarean delivery.

In addition to these findings, this study is distinctive for being among the first to investigate disparities in hospital readmission among young, relatively healthy patients. Previous research examining racial and ethnic disparities in readmission have focused almost exclusively on conditions prevalent among the aged and infirm.

Co-author Mark DeFrancesco, MD noted, “This is an extremely important study, and only the first step in figuring out a root cause of this problem.  I look forward to follow up work in this area in the hopes of eliminating disparities from healthcare.” Dr. DeFrancesco is a CSMS member and current President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

The Connecticut Health Foundation has generously funded much of the CSMS readmission disparities research. “The Connecticut Health Foundation is proud to have supported CSMS, a long time health equity partner, in this valuable research that adds to what the state knows about the problem of racial and ethnic hospital readmissions disparities,” said Connecticut Health Foundation President/CEO Patricia Baker.

“Post-delivery readmissions have an economic cost and disproportionately disrupt the ability of women of color to focus on caring for their newborns.  The foundation appreciates that CSMS has been pursuing solutions with Connecticut’s physician community, in addition to the research.” added Baker.

CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz also emphasized the important role of improved quality in reducing costs and eliminating waste in the healthcare system. “We need to do more than identify. We need to determine the root causes of barriers to care, and implement best practices to remove them. We are all part of the same system: physicians, patients, hospitals, policymakers, and advocates.”

Katz added, “With the continued support of the Connecticut Health Foundation, CSMS is committed to continuing its research into readmission disparities, and to developing additional studies based on that research.”


About the Connecticut State Medical Society

Founded in 1792, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) proudly represents physicians and physicians in training across our state.

The mission of the Connecticut State Medical Society is to be the voice of all Connecticut physicians; to lead physicians in advocacy; to promote the profession of medicine; to improve the quality of care; and to safeguard the health of our patients.

About the Connecticut Health Foundation

The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grantmaking, public policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 16 years, CT Health has awarded grants totaling close to $57 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state.