Readmissions Program Failing Some Heart Patients?

The 30-day mortality rate has risen for heart failure patients since Medicare’s hospital readmission reduction program was implemented.

According to a new study published in JAMA, the 30-day mortality rate for heart failure patients rose 0.49 percent between 2007-2010 and 2010-2012 and another 0.52 percent between 2010-2012 and 2012-2015.

Similar results were not found for the other types of patients whose readmission rates are measured under the program:  patients who were hospitalized for heart attacks, heart bypass surgery, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hip or knee replacement.

The heart failure findings, though, raise the question of whether performance under the readmissions reduction program is a true barometer of the quality of care individual hospitals provide.

Learn more about the study, its findings, and their implications in the study “Association of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program With Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized for Heart Failure, Acute Myocardial Infarction, and Pneumonia,” which can be found here, on the JAMA web site.

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