Hepatic Encephalopathy-Related Hospitalizations in Cirrhosis: Transition of Care and Closing the Revolving Door

Link to article at PubMed

Dig Dis Sci. 2021 Jun 24. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07075-2. Online ahead of print.


Cirrhosis is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Development of complications of cirrhosis, including hepatic encephalopathy (HE), portends poorer outcomes. HE is associated with hospital readmission, impaired patient and caregiver quality of life, risk of falls, and mortality. Guidelines recommend lactulose as first-line therapy for HE and rifaximin in combination with lactulose for reducing the risk of HE recurrence. Improving post-discharge outcomes, including readmissions, is an important aspect in the management of patients with HE. Approaches focused on improving management and prevention of HE, including properly titrating lactulose dosing, overcoming medication-related nonadherence, and incorporating rifaximin as therapy to reduce the risk of recurrence, as well as incorporating supportive care initiatives, may ease the transition from hospital to home. Strategies to decrease readmission rates include using hospital navigators, who can offer patient/caregiver education, post-discharge planning, and medication review; and involving pharmacists in post-discharge planning. Similarly, telemedicine offers providers the opportunity to monitor patients with HE remotely and improves outcomes. Providers offering transitional care management may be reimbursed when establishing contact with patients within 2 days post-discharge and conducting an outpatient visit within 7 days or 14 days. Several approaches have been shown to improve outcomes broadly in patients post-discharge and may also be effective for improving outcomes specifically in patients hospitalized with cirrhosis and HE, thus closing the revolving door on rehospitalizations in this population.

PMID:34169435 | DOI:10.1007/s10620-021-07075-2

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