August 23rd, 2019

Podcast 230 — Hospital-readmissions gaming?

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP for short) seems to be reducing 30-day readmissions — but what about revisits to facilities within those 30 days?

Rishi Wadhera and his co-authors measured readmissions, plus treat-and-discharge ER visits, plus stays in observation units among some 3 million Medicare discharges of a near-4-year span. They found that broadening the definition of readmissions to include not only formal returns to the hospital for a standard stay but also those ER and observation-unit encounters tells a different story. It’s a story that should make HRRP’s administrators rethink what should be measured and how expanding the definition of readmissions could benefit patients by truly promoting better quality-of-care.


Article in The BMJ on readmissions

Earlier article in JAMA on readmissions for heart failure

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