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Efforts to Reduce Hospital Readmissions Stalled

Monday, July 15, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Susan Stout
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Effort to reduce readmissions appears to have stalled

Health Affairs has published a new study which found declines in 30-day hospital readmissions appear to have stalled in recent years. In reviewing Medicare claims data from 2008 to 2016 for 2.5 million hip and knee replacement patients, researchers from the University of Michigan observed a rapid decline in readmissions following the federal government’s decision to penalize hospitals for certain readmissions. In recent years, however, the decline has slowed despite the expansion of penalties under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. In a press release, the lead author of the study asserts the findings "raise the question of whether we're about to reach the floor in our ability to reduce readmissions for these patients." Research by other groups suggests the drive to reduce readmissions could even cause harm to non-surgical patients.(Medpage Today story, 7/7/19)