A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that federal penalties do lead to lower readmission rates. The research found that hospitals penalized as part of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) reduced 30-day readmissions by more significant margins than hospitals that weren’t penalized, writes Fierce Healthcare. The study team examined data from more than 48 million hospitalizations of Medicare beneficiaries at nearly 3,500 U.S. hospitals recorded between January 2008 and June 2015. The penalized hospitals saw significant reductions in readmissions for targeted conditions like heart attack, pneumonia and heart failure. Readmission rates were stable for both types of hospitals between 2008 and 2010, when HRRP was first introduced, but once the program was launched, rates for both target and nontarget conditions dropped far more rapidly at hospitals that were later penalized, according to the study.
- Full study: Association Between Hospital Penalty Status Under the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and Readmission Rates for Target and Nontarget Conditions. JAMA. December 27, 2016.
- Fierce Healthcare: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/study-financial-penalties-effective-strategy-to-reduce-readmissions