Finance
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Weak Link Found Between Readmissions, Mortality

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 13, 2013

"If a hospital has a lower mortality rate, then a greater proportion of its discharged patients are eligible for readmission. As such, to some extent, a higher readmission rate may be a consequence of successful care," Gorodeski wrote.

But after studying Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries admitted between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2008 for treatment of congestive heart failure, pneumonia or heart attack, Krumholz and colleagues concluded that 30-day readmission rates "were not associated" with mortality rates for patients admitted for heart attack or pneumonia, and were "only weakly associated within a certain range" for patients admitted for heart failure.

"We show that hospitals can do well on both measures, with many hospitals having low risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates," Krumholz wrote.

Concerns have been raised for two other reasons. First, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' rules assess financial penalties of up to 3% for hospital with higher rates of readmissions, but punish hospitals with higher mortality by withholding incentive pay amounting to a maximum of only 25% of 1.25% in incentive payment, starting this October.

1 | 2 | 3

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.