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Study Assesses Applicability of Publicly Reported Hospital Readmission Measures to Unreported Conditions

New research finds significant differences in hospitals’ performance when readmissions were assessed for non-Medicare patients and for conditions other than those currently reported, showing that when these additional factors are taken into account, half of hospitals would be subject to a change in their financial penalty status.  The study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, sought to  investigate whether hospital-level 30-day readmission measures for publicly reported conditions (HF, AMI, and pneumonia) among Medicare patients reflect those for Medicare patients hospitalized for unreported conditions or non-Medicare patients hospitalized with HF, AMI, or pneumonia.  The study found hospital ERRs, as estimated by Medicare to determine financial penalties, have poor agreement with corresponding measures for populations and conditions not tied to financial penalties. Current publicly reported measures may not be good surrogates for overall hospital quality related to 30-day readmissions.


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