Abstract The study's purpose was to examine postdischarge rehospitalizations and acute care visits in seven high risk, high volume, high-cost patient groups. Subjects were drawn from an urban tertiary teaching hospital. The total sample (N= 764) consisted of seven patient groups (drawn from five randomized clinical trials): very low birthweight (VLBW) infants (n= 79); women post-unplanned cesarean birth (n= 122) and their infants (n= 123); pregnant women with diabetes (n= 55); women post-hysterectomy surgery (n= 109); and elderly with medical cardiac Diagnostic Related Groups (DRGs) (n= 142) and elderly with surgical cardiac DRGs (n= 134). The VLBW infant and pregnant diabetic groups were predominantly African American, the elderly and hysterectomy groups predominantly Caucasian, and the cesarean group almost equally distributed. The lowest rate of rehospitalization (2%) occurred in the cesarean group, the highest (35%) in the pregnant diabetics. In four groups (cesarean and infants, hysterectomy and surgical elderly), 60%-100% of the rehospitalizations occurred within 4 weeks of discharge. Subjects requiring acute care visits ranged from 13% (hysterectomy) to 82% (VLBW infants). Acute care visits demonstrated greater distribution throughout the follow-up periods but also tended to concentrate in the first 4 weeks postdischarge.