Preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions among Medicaid beneficiaries offers tremendous potential for states to improve health care quality and control spending. This Faces of Medicaid data brief examines readmission rates among Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities and identifies new opportunities to reduce recurring hospitalizations.

The analysis, by Todd Gilmer, PhD, at the University of California, San Diego, focuses on Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities through a variety of lenses: by number and type of chronic conditions; by state; and by whether or not beneficiaries had a physician visit between discharge and readmission. Select findings reveal:

  • The 30-day readmission rate for Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities was 16 percent, rising to 53 percent within one year.
  • Fifty percent of those readmitted within 30 days did not visit a physician between discharge and readmission.
  • The likelihood of readmission increased with the number of chronic conditions.

The findings highlight the need for targeted activities to reduce avoidable readmissions, particularly for populations at greatest risk for readmission. With great attention being paid to readmissions nationally, this analysis offers new insights to help Medicaid stakeholders identify critical opportunities for intervention.


Since 2000, CHCS’ Faces of Medicaid series has shed light on the prevalence of specific conditions among Medicaid beneficiaries, patterns of service use, and costs. By better understanding the Medicaid population, states and health plans can identify new opportunities to improve care, enhance health outcomes, and control spending.