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Study Finds 30-Day Readmission Measure Fails to Account for Changing Risk Factors

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Fierce Healthcare writes of a new study that shows risk factors for readmissions change significantly over the course of the 30 days following hospital discharge. Findings from the study imply that the current Medicare measure for readmissions doesn’t accurately reflect the hospital’s accountability for rehospitalizations.¬† Under the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may reduce payments to acute care hospitals that have¬†excess readmissions within 30 days of discharge. Last year it penalized more than 2,600 hospitals. But the study, conducted by researchers at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicates the federal measurement isn’t fair because a patient’s risk factors for readmission change during the 30 days post-discharge and many of them are beyond a hospital’s control.

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