Hospital readmissions declined again in 2013, Sebelius credits provider partnerships

Share this article:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

The number of seniors readmitted to a hospital within a month of discharge continued to decline in 2013, according to data released Wednesday by the government. The trend shows that greater coordination between different healthcare providers is paying off, said outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The all-cause 30-day hospital readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries was 17.5% last year, HHS announced in a memorandum. The rate was 18.5% in 2012, and it was around 19% for every year between 2007 and 2011.

Government officials said providers outside hospital systems have played an important part in reducing readmissions.

“We applaud the nationwide network of hospital systems and providers that are working together to save lives and reduce costs,” said Sebelius.

The Affordable Care Act introduced new payment systems designed to reward care coordination among hospitals and other providers, including post-acute and long-term care facilities. Participants in accountable care organizations, bundled payment systems and other new models share in savings they achieve by providing more integrated patient care and reducing unnecessary services and transitions between settings.

The ACA also implemented Medicare reimbursement reductions tied to hospitals'  readmissions numbers. Skilled nursing facilities will be subject to similar penalties starting in 2018, under a recently passed law.

Share this article:

More in News

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term care provider with more than 500 facilities

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term ...

Genesis HealthCare and Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. will merge to create a single long-term and post-acute care company with more than 500 facilities nationwide, the providers announced Tuesday.

Antipsychotic use tied to acute kidney injury, increasing pressure on nursing home ...

Older people who take antipsychotic medications are at a markedly increased risk of acute kidney injury, according to newly published research findings out of Canada. The study further supports ongoing efforts to reduce the number of nursing home residents on these drugs.

Family alleges long-term care facility banned them due to social media posts, ...

Family members of a Texas long-term care resident have sued the facility where she lives, claiming they were banned from visiting due to their social media posts, according to a publication covering legal proceedings in the state.