CMS doesn't call out hospitals with worst readmission rates

Although readmissions rates are barely improving nationwide, Medicare publicly identifies only a few hospitals as poor performers on its Hospital Compare website, according to Kaiser Health News.

Despite best efforts to reduce the number of people bouncing back to the hospital, Hospital Compare data updated Friday showed that more than one in five Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge.

Out of more than 4,000 hospitals, Medicare singled out only 2 percent of facilities as having worse-than-expected readmission rates for heart attack patients, 4 percent of hospitals as worse than average for heart failure patients and 3 percent of hospitals as being worse than average for pneumonia patients.

Moreover, Medicare recognized only eight hospitals as having worse-than-average readmissions for all three conditions, including Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Florida and Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, KHN noted.

But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is careful to point out readmission outliers, the article noted, because there aren't many cases of heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia at some individual hospitals, therefore making it hard to calculate precise readmission rates.

With aims to better address and prevent rehospitalizations, the National Quality Forum earlier this month upheld its initial decision to endorse an all-cause hospital readmissions measure, despite challenges from hospital systems and providers.

To learn more:
- read the KHN article
- check out the Hospital Compare website

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