Rate of 30-day, all-cause hospital readmissions for the fourth quarter of 2012, per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The figure had fluctuated between 18.5% and 19.5% the prior five years. The drop corresponds with the implementation of Medicare penalties for higher-than-expected readmission rates. Previous studies of readmissions, including the recent Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care report described in last month’s “Innovations” found little or no progress on reducing hospital readmissions.
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Oakland, Calif.
- Quinn K, Neeman N, Mourad M, Sliwka D. Communication coaching: A multifaceted intervention to improve physician-patient communication [abstract]. J Hosp Med. 2012;7 Suppl 2:S108.
- Sokol PE, Wynia MK. There and Home Again, Safely: Five Responsibilities of Ambulatory Practices in High Quality Care Transitions. American Medical Association website. http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/patient-safety/ambulatory-practices.pdf. Accessed February 12, 2013.
- Dharmarajan K, Hsieh AF, Lin Z, et al. Diagnoses and timing of 30-day readmissions after hospitalization for heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or pneumonia. JAMA. 2013;309(4):355-363.
- JAMA Internal Medicine. Nearly one-third of physicians report missing electronic notification of test results. JAMA Internal Medicine website. Available at: http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/nearly-one-third-of-physicians-report-missing-electronic-notification-of-test-results/.Accessed April 8, 2013.
- Miliard M. VA enlists telehealth for disasters. Healthcare IT News website. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-enlists-telehealth-disasters. Published February 27, 2013. Accessed April 1, 2013.