Nation's lowest readmission rates belong to Baylor hospital again

Despite a recent study's finding that a high readmission rate isn't necessarily a sign of poor performance on the part of a hospital, Baylor Heart and Vascular Center continues to tout its low readmission rate as a major selling point. For the second straight year, the Dallas-based facility boasts the nation's lowest readmission rate for heart failure patients within 30 days of discharge according to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Dallas Morning News reports.

While CMS has yet to publicly release the data, it informed about 4,000 hospitals across the U.S. of their scores last week. The national average readmission rate stands at 24.5 percent; Baylor Heart and Vascular's rate is 17.3 percent, up from just under 16 percent last year.

The facility's continued low readmission numbers may be due in part to Baylor Heart and Vascular's tendency to send some of its more serious cases to Baylor University Medical Center. While the latter hospital also boasts a low readmission rate for heart-failure patients (19.8 percent), its mortality rate for heart-attack patients last year was the highest of the biggest hospitals in North Texas, according to the Morning News article.

Regardless, Dr. Paul Convery, the chief medical officer for Baylor Health Care System, was happy with CMS' latest findings.

"Some of the area's sickest patients come to Baylor Dallas as it is a major medical center," he told the newspaper. "So to see that the two hospitals on this campus have the lowest readmission rates in the city proves that our strategies are working."

To learn more:
- read this Dallas Morning News article