Hospitals making little headway in preventing readmissions, report finds

Share this article:
Hospitals have made little progress in decreasing the volume of readmissions of individuals treated for acute and chronic illnesses according to a new report.

The report reflected little improvement in readmission rates between 2004 and 2009; some regions saw an increase in readmissions. According to the report, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that the cost of avoidable readmissions at more than $17 billion per year.

Under the Affordable Care Act, CMS in October 2012 will start enacting reimbursement cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates. This will be a problem for hospitals that fail to take steps to improve post-acute care and follow-up, according to the report, titled “After Hospitalization: A Dartmouth Atlas Report on Post-Acute Care for Medicare Beneficiaries.”

Additionally, hospitals are looking at a penalty equal to 1% of their total Medicare billing if an excessive number of patients is rehospitalized. The penalty shoots up to 2% in 2014 and 3% in 2015, according to the report. This will only enhance the value of high-quality post-acute providers, such as nursing homes, that take on patients for post-hospital rehabilitation and other long-term treatment, experts point out.

Share this article:

More in News

CMS needs to get nursing home staffing information directly from payroll systems, Congressional leaders say

CMS needs to get nursing home staffing information ...

Federal regulators should start collecting nursing home staffing information directly from payroll systems as soon as possible, members of the Congressional Seniors Task Force said in a letter to a ...

Male CNA who wears women's clothing can pursue charges that nursing home ...

A Texas certified nursing assistant can continue to pursue charges that his former nursing home employer has made false, defamatory statements about him in the job referral process, a federal court recently ruled.

High-profile consumer advocacy group sues over broken Medicare appeals process

Long-term care providers have been outspoken in their criticism of the Medicare appeals process, which has all but ground to a halt. Now a class-action lawsuit says Medicare beneficiaries also are being harmed by the excessively long delays.