Readmissions from two chronic illnesses drop in Pennsylvania

Readmission rates at Pennsylvania hospitals are improving--at least for people with some chronic conditions, according to a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). The council analyzed hospital discharges between January 2013 and August 2014 for four conditions: an abnormal heartbeat, diabetes-medical management, congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While readmission rates showed no change for patients with diabetes or abnormal heartbeat, they fell significantly for COPD and CHF, PHC4 Executive Director Joe Martin told The Sentinel. "That rates are dropping in these two chronic illness categories is a very positive sign, as preventable readmissions are a significant cost driver," he said. Of the conditions PHC4 analyzed, abnormal heartbeat had the lowest statewide readmission rate, at 3.6 percent, while diabetes-medical management had the highest, with 8.4 percent. Report (.pdf)