CMS adds readmission rates to hospital performance measures

In another sign that they are emerging as a focal point for quality ratings, CMS has added readmission rates as one of the hospital performance measurements listed on its Hospital Compare website. The agency currently spends billions on readmissions, with one in five discharged patients returning to the hospital within one month, the agency says.

The site now lists 30-day readmission rates for patients admitted to hospitals for heart failure, acute MI and pneumonia. CMS lists data by individual hospital, which are ranked as "better," "no different" or "worse" than U.S.-wide performance.

This change in emphasis not only reflects CMS's desire to cut costs, but also an intent to look at entire episodes of care, it seems. Ultimately, a bundled payment system won't save nearly as much money if costs per episode go down, but the number of visits remains higher than necessary.

To learn more about the ratings change:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece ( reg. req.)

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