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Higher Readmission Penalties Linked to Low HCAHPS Scores

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   December 12, 2012

On the other hand, hospital readmission rate scores vary from the very low end, with some hospitals receiving 0-19 points, some receiving 20 to 39 points, some 40-59, some 60-79 and some 80-100.

"What we see from the metrics that make up the various quality performance initiatives is the expectation that hospitals will extend their sphere of influence," Buhlman says.

She says there's a strong probability that the hospitals' focus on readmission rates also affects its relationship with the patient through communication, and that's why these patients give hospitals higher marks in patient experience.

"One of the things we coach hospitals on is communication, of course, directly  reflected in HCAHPS around discharge planning is that it's not one conversation that  occurs  the day the patient is being discharged," Buhlman explains. 

"You begin that conversation when the patient is admitted, and that conversation can be, 'Okay, Mrs. Jones, you're here to have your hip replaced. Typically that's a two-night stay in the hospital. So we're gunning for you to be discharged on Wednesday.' And literally, periodically throughout the stay, renewing that conversation," about who will be there to pick up the patient, about medication instructions, and other elements of care after the patient gets home.

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