Bloomberg, March 1, 2013

Hospital readmission rates for Medicare patients are dropping after increasing for more than five years as the 2010 U.S. health-care law begins levying penalties for excessive numbers of repeat patient visits. Thirty-day readmission rates fell to 17.8 percent late last year after averaging 19 percent for the past five, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said today on its website. The decline translates to 70,000 fewer readmissions in 2012 for Medicare, the U.S. health plan for the elderly and disabled.

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