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Study casts doubt on readmission crackdown


Researchers and physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, are challenging the wildly accepted idea that readmissions are an accurate measure of quality. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services has put much emphasis on the need to reduce hospital readmissions.

In a study this month in Journal of Hospital Medicine, hospitalist Daniel J. Brotman, M.D., and his colleagues looked at nearly 4,500 acute-care hospitals’ hospital-wide readmission rates and compared them with those hospitals’ mortality rates in six areas used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary-artery bypass.

They found that hospitals with the highest  readmission  rates were more likely to show better mortality scores in patients treated for heart failure, COPD and stroke.

And adjusted odds ratios indicated that patients treated at hospitals with more readmitted patients had a fractionally better chance at survival than patients cared for at hospitals with lower readmission rates.

To read The Journal of Hospital Medicine report, please hit this link.

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