Hospital readmission rates among Medicare patients held stubbornly steady from 2008 to 2010, despite increasing federal attention and attempts by providers to address the issue.
That's according to a report from the Washington-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which found that 30-day readmission rates had remained “virtually unchanged” throughout the two-year period. The 60-page report, produced by researchers from the Dartmouth Atlas Project, used Medicare data to conclude that the national readmission rate in 2010—15.9%—was the same as it was in 2004.
Regional differences were substantial, however. Readmission rates after a medical admission ranged from 18.1% in Bronx, N.Y., to 11.4% in Ogden, Utah. Following a surgical admission, the differences were even wider, ranging from 18.3% in Bronx to 7.6% in Bend, Ore. In general, areas with higher hospital utilization rates tended to have higher readmission rates, the authors said.