NPR, December 15, 2011
Repeat customers to hospitals are seen as a big problem. But it's complicated. Sometimes the hospitals themselves may profit from some patients' frequent visits. But it costs a lot money for the people who pay hospitals: Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. As with many other problems in the healthcare system, unnecessary hospital readmissions are associated with worse treatment and health outcomes as well as higher costs to taxpayers ? as much as $17 billion a year by one estimate.