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New CMS Quality Measure to Evaluate Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitals

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University of Florida Health (UF) researchers, in collaboration with the Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), have completed a new quality measure for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate care in nearly 1,700 psychiatric hospitals nationwide.

The UF measure tracks 30-day hospital readmission rates for psychiatric patients following discharge. UF researchers said it provides a barometer by which CMS, health care providers and consumers can assess how effectively hospitals are delivering inpatient psychiatric care.

CMS adopted the measure in 2019, following the multiyear study that examined more than 700,000 admissions to inpatient psychiatric facilities. UF College of Pharmacy researchers reviewed Medicare claims data and determined about 150,000, or 21%, of those admissions had unplanned readmissions soon after discharge.

The range of readmission rates varied by facility from as low as 11% to as high as 35%, after differences in clinical risk factors of patients across facilities were taken into account.

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