HHS Claims Big Gains on Readmissions, Hospital-Acquired Harms

The Obama administration says the number of Medicare patients returning to hospitals within 30 days fell further in 2013, amounting to 150,000 fewer readmissions since January 2012.

The Obama administration says the number of Medicare patients returning to hospitals within 30 days fell further in 2013, amounting to 150,000 fewer readmissions since January 2012.

HHS describes the progress on readmissions in a brief report out Wednesday that claims the administration's quality initiatives and partnerships have achieved significant successes, including a reduction in hospital-induced harms credited with saving 15,000 lives and $4 billion.

The all-cause readmissions rate, according to the report, has declined to 17.5% in the past two years after hovering between 19% and 19.5% since 2007. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, hospitals' Medicare payments are docked for high rates of readmissions. The penalty rises to 3% in fiscal 2015.

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Source: Modern Healthcare