Background: In 2015, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program mandated financial penalties to hospitals with greater rates of readmissions for certain conditions. Alcohol-related disorders (ARD) are the fourth leading cause of 30-day readmissions. Yet, there is a dearth of national-level research to identify high-risk patient populations and predictors of 30-day readmission. This study examined patient- and hospital-level predictors for index hospitalizations with principal diagnosis of ARD and predicted the cost of 30-day readmissions. Methods: The 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database was used to identify ARD-related index hospitalizations. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate patient- and hospital-level predictors for readmissions, and a 2-part model was used to predict the incremental cost conditional upon readmission. Results: In 2014, 285,767 index hospitalizations for ARD were recorded, and 18.9% of ARD-associated hospitalizations resulted in at least one 30-day readmission. Patients who were males, aged 45 to 64 years, Medicaid enrollees, living in urban and low-income areas, or with 1 to 2 comorbidities had high risk of readmission. Index hospitalization costs were higher among readmitted patients ($8,840 vs. $8,036, p < 0.01). Predicted mean costs for readmissions on index stay with ARD were greater among those aged 45 to 64 years ($1,908, p < 0.001), Medicare enrollees ($2,133, p < 0.001), rural residents ($1,841, p < 0.01), living in high-income areas ($1,876, p < 0.001), with 4 or more comorbidities ($2,415, p < 0.001), or admitted in large metropolitan hospitals ($2,032, p < 0.001), with large number of beds ($1,964, p < 0.001), with government ownership ($2,109, p < 0.001), or with low volume of ARD cases ($2,155, p < 0.001). Conclusions: One in 5 ARD-related index hospitalizations resulted in a 30-day readmission. Overall, costs of index hospitalizations for ARD were $2.3 billion, of which $512 million were spent on hospitalizations that resulted in at least 1 readmission. There is a need to develop patient-centric health programs to reduce readmission rates and costs among ARD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-868
Number of pages12
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • 30-Day Readmission
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders
  • Cost
  • Hospitalization
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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