Downward Trend in Readmissions Continues

The downward trend in preventable hospital readmissions that began in 2012 has continued well into this year, according to data published Friday on the CMS' blog. Quality experts were impressed but had questions.

The downward trend in preventable hospital readmissions that began in 2012 has continued well into this year, according to data published Friday on the CMS' blog. Quality experts were impressed but had questions.

The CMS said the average avoidable readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries was less than 18% during the first eight months of 2013, which it said reflects hospitals' improvement efforts and federal initiatives. The CMS said the decrease means an estimated 130,000 fewer hospital readmissions between January 2012 and August 2013. Earlier this year, the CMS released a study showing that 30-day readmission rates fell to 17.8% in the final quarter of 2012, after holding at the 19% mark for five years.

Jonathan Blum, CMS principal deputy administrator, touted that figure in testimony during a Senate Finance Committee meeting in February, calling it evidence that the healthcare reform law was moving the needle on hospital quality.

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Source: Modern Healthcare