Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Lupus Health Center

Font Size

Lupus Patients Face High Rehospitalization Rates

Drugs that suppress the immune system make it harder to fight infection, study says


Indeed, more severe disease was associated with a higher likelihood of readmission. Three conditions in particular dominated the readmissions: low blood platelet count; kidney inflammation (called lupus nephritis); and an inflammation of the linings of the organs (serositis).

"Thirty-day hospitalization readmission rates are sometimes used as a measure of quality, but with sick people, it can really be a measure of the severity of their illness," said Dr. David Pisetsky, a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and a member of the scientific advisory board at the Lupus Research Institute.

However, other important differences emerged. Black and Hispanic patients were more likely to be readmitted than white patients. "That suggests there may be a racial disparity in the things that influence readmission, such as the quality of care delivered or the transition to the outpatient setting, or poor access to outpatient care. But we need further research to find out whether that's the case," Yazdany said.

Patients covered by Medicaid and Medicare, the U.S. publicly funded insurance programs, were also about 1.5 times more likely to be readmitted than privately insured patients.

"You have to get the disease under control, and for people who are on Medicare or Medicaid and don't have access to medications, that can be more difficult," Pisetsky said.

Further, New York had the lowest readmission rates of the five states studied. That suggests room for quality improvement, Yazdany said, though she added that New York has a higher concentration of dedicated lupus centers than many other places.

"Evidence suggests the rate of readmissions can be reduced by improving discharge planning and the transition process out of the hospital," Yazdany said.

An effective transition requires coordination of care between health care providers at the hospital and a patient's outpatient doctors, she said. It also requires that patients know when their follow-up outpatient appointments are, what symptoms to worry about and whom to call if needed.

"We have a lot of work to do in educating and supporting patients in managing their disease," Yazdany said. And lupus patients "should be very proactive," she added.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

grocery shopping list
And the memory problems that may come with it.
Lupus rash on nails
A detailed, visual guide.
sunburst filtering through leaves
You might be extra sensitive to UV light. Read on.
fruit drinks
For better focus in your life.
Woman rubbing shoulder
Bag of cosmetics
young woman hiding face
pregnant woman
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Young adult couple
doctor advising patient
sticky notes on face

WebMD Special Sections