CMS Study Finds Medicare Readmission Rates Declined in 2012

Hospital readmission rates for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries significantly declined in 2012, according to research published May 28 in the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review. 

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Using claims data from the Chronic Condition Data Warehouse, the study looked at all Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part A, who were not enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Results showed from 2007-2011, the 30-day, all-cause, hospital readmission rates were consistently 19 percent, however, during 2012, the monthly readmission rate dropped to a low of 18 percent in October, and averaged to 18.4 percent for the year.

In addition, readmission rates at hospitals participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-led Partnership for Patients (P4P) program have historically been lower, and the research further showed that in 2012, the average readmission rates for hospitals enrolled in the program was 18.4 percent compared to non-participating hospitals with 18.6 percent.

The authors note that although the claims data are not yet final for 2012, the preliminary data indicate the hospital readmissions rates were significantly lower compared to previous years. "The reasons behind the reductions, as well as the implications for clinicians and policy makers, are not yet clear and merit further monitoring and analysis," they conclude.

Learn more about ACC’s Hospital to Home (H2H) initiative,  a national quality improvement campaign to reduce cardiovascular-related hospital readmissions and improve the transition from inpatient to outpatient status for individuals hospitalized with cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Quality Improvement, Fee-for-Service Plans, Patient Readmission, Medicaid, Cardiovascular Diseases, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Medicare, United States

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