A Modern Healthcare blog post suggests location may impact hospital readmission rates. The blog refers to a study published in Health Affairs which suggests the socioeconomic status of patients in a given community may explain some of the variation in hospital 30-day readmission rates. But the quality of the facilities where patients go when they are discharged—a factor the CMS isn’t measuring—could also play a key role.
The study – Understanding Medicare Hospital Readmission Rates And Differing Penalties Between Safety-Net And Other Hospitals – found that socioeconomic status alone doesn’t explain why hospitals in the poorest communities have slightly higher readmission rates. Patients leaving hospitals in low-income communities were much more likely to be readmitted after being discharged to inpatient rehabilitation or long-term-care facilities compared with patients who went home. While the opposite was true for those discharged from hospitals in wealthier communities, more granular data is needed to determine which facilities are more likely to result in readmission, according to the study authors.