Dartmouth Readmissions Report Shows Scant Progress
Despite widespread acknowledgement of the need to reduce hospital readmissions, only slight progress was made in reducing rates of 30-day readmissions among Medicare patients between 2008 and 2010.
That's according to "The Revolving Door Syndrome," the latest report on hospital readmissions from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which again points to the highly variable rates even within types of patients within a hospital, or hospitals within a city or state.
For example, among 92 academic medical centers named, 37 hospitals saw readmission rates for their patients actually increase.
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"This report is consistent with other data showing that relatively little has changed over the past several years," notes David Goodman, MD, co-principal investigator for the Dartmouth Atlas Project. "Despite awareness of the problem, progress has been slow."
The report divided readmissions into two types, those affecting patients whose first admission was for a surgical procedure and those affecting patients whose first admission as for a medical condition, such as congestive heart failure, pneumonia, or heart attack.