Attendance at a Transitional Liver Clinic May Be Associated with Reduced Readmissions for Patients with Liver Disease

Published:October 13, 2021DOI:



      Patients with liver disease have high rates of early hospital readmission, but there are no studies of effective, scalable interventions to reduce this risk. In this study, we examined the impact of a Physician Assistant (PA)-led post-discharge Transitional Liver Clinic (TLC) on hospital readmissions.


      We performed a cohort study of all adults seen by a hepatologist during admission to a tertiary care center in 2019 (excluding transplant patients). We compared those who attended the TLC with those who did not, with respect to 30-day readmission and mortality. Propensity score-adjusted modeling was used to control for confounding.


      Of 498 patients, 98 were seen in the TLC; 35% had alcoholic liver disease and 58% had cirrhosis. Attendees were similar to non-attendees with respect to demographics, liver disease characteristics and severity, comorbidities, and discharge disposition. Thirty-day cumulative incidence of readmissions was 12% in TLC attendees, compared with 22% in non-attendees (P = .02), while 30-day mortality was similar (2.0% vs 4.3%; P = .29). In a model using propensity score adjustment, TLC attendance remained associated with reduced readmissions (subhazard ratio 0.52; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.997; P = .049). The effect of TLC was greater in women compared with men (P = .07) and in those without chronic kidney disease (P = .02), but there were no differences across other subgroups.


      Patients with liver disease seen in a PA-led TLC may have a significant reduction in the 30-day readmission rate. Randomized trials are needed to establish the efficacy of PA-led post-discharge transitional care for this population.


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