Pennsylvania hospitals racked up 12,000 readmissions attributed to infections and other often-preventable complications in 18 treatment categories from Oct. 1, 2001, to Sept. 30, 2002, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The readmissions resulted in $410 million in additional charges and 93,000 extra patient days. Among the conditions reported, hemorrhagic stroke was associated with the highest rate of readmission, 7.7%, while poisoning and toxic effects of drugs had the lowest rate, 0.9%. Readmission rates in general as well as length of stay varied substantially among hospitals. For example, the risk-adjusted average length of stay for diabetes with amputation ranged from 4.9 days to 17.7 days. The report includes data from 168 hospitals on risk-adjusted mortality, lengths of stay, readmission rates and hospital charges. Read the report. -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. says readmissions often preventable and costly
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