Providers are eager to find ways to reduce readmissions, but two new post-acute discharge-related CMS measures don't appear to be the solution.
CMS penalties more likely for hospitals with large minority populations despite better readmission rates
Hospitals serving large populations of minority patients were more likely to be penalized under the CMS' readmissions program even though they made greater reductions in readmission rates compared to their peers.
A recent study found patients who reported high satisfaction with their overall care experience were 39% less likely to be readmitted than patients who were not as satisfied.
Overall, the CMS' Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has motivated hospitals to change wasteful care practices. But health policy experts wonder if the tactics hospitals have adopted might not always be in the best interest of patients.
A new JAMA study found that as hospitals reduced readmission rates for heart failure patients as part of the CMS' readmissions program, mortality rates for those patients rose.
The CMS wants to test a new way to evaluate and penalize hospitals for unplanned readmissions. But the agency expects few takers will participate in the pilot, leaving providers uncertain if the new approach will be accurate.
When the 21st Century Cures Act last year included a provision requiring Medicare to account for patient backgrounds when it calculated hospital readmission penalties, safety net providers rejoiced.
Skilled-nursing facilities are changing their operations in reaction to the ongoing push to minimize hospital readmission rates. Worried about losing out on Medicare payments, some facilities are investing in unique approaches.
The CMS is exploring how to levy excess readmission penalties fairly on hospitals, based on their patient population.
After implementing a video-based patient-education system, Charleston Area Medical Center saw reduced readmissions for chronic conditions.
Hospitals that had the worst readmission rates prior to the Affordable Care Act improved the most, the authors found.
All hospitals across the U.S. face a broad array of challenges. The ones that made the top 50 in cardiac care are the ones that figured out how to navigate the unique challenges of a service line crucial to hospitals' overall quality performance and bottom lines.