According to a new study from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 49 states and the District of Columbia have seen avoidable hospital readmissions decline since 2010.
Hospital readmissions typically occur within 30 days of a patient’s discharge and have been estimated to cost $17 billion annually in Medicare expenditures. Aside from the financial burden, avoidable readmissions can also be a sign of less than stellar care patients receive when first admitted to the hospital.
To address these concerns, the Affordable Care Act created the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program which adjusts payments for hospitals with higher than expected 30-day readmission rates. Data from the program indicates:
- All states but one (Vermont) have seen Medicare 30-day readmission rates fall.
- In 43 states, readmission rates fell by more than 5%.
- In 11 states, readmission rates fell by more than 10%.