Roughly 273,600 patients landed back in New York hospitals within 30 days after leaving for a total cost of $3.7 billion, according to a study of 2008 figures. Complications from infections accounted for 26.5% of the readmissions and 35% of the cost, or $1.3 billion, the study said.
Cost of readmissions in N.Y. estimated at $3.7 billion in 2008
The analysis was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the New York State Health Foundation, which was financed by Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield when the company abandoned its not-for-profit status.
Mathematica researchers grouped patients into four categories: medical, surgical, behavioral health and maternity. Medical readmissions within 30 days made up roughly 69%, or $2.7 billion, of total readmission costs. More than half of those who returned to the hospital were ages 65 or older.
Researchers modeled two possible financial incentives for initiatives to prevent readmissions and found hospitals would be more likely to adopt one of two readmission-prevention strategies under episode payments than under pay-for-performance.
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